Album Review: State Faults – Head In the Clouds

State Faults first released this EP way back in 2011 under the name Brother Bear. It was this release that first caught the eye of label Tiny Engines, who have now remastered and finally given this excellent EP the physical release many fans have been waiting for. This was the world’s first glimpse of State Faults’ jarring, melodic and emotional blend of post hardcore that has seen their popularity grow and grow in the past 4 years.

The opening track is more of a short untitled interlude of soft synth and dream-like spoken word, which somehow moves seamlessly into first full track ‘Dreamcatcher’ where we get our first real glimpse of the unmistakable State Faults sound. The reverb laden build up of guitars is reminiscent of early Pianos Become the Teeth, providing that same offset backdrop for the acerbic hoarse vocals. This mix of huge atmospheric instrumentals and emotionally charged screamed vocals has became a recipe for success in recent years, and this is something State Faults have always pulled off exceptionally well.

If ‘Dreamcatcher’ showcased the instrumental sound perfectly, ‘Last Breath’ does the same for the lyrical content. From the opening lines of, “This isn’t the end. I can still feel you, I still hear your footsteps. The sound of your silence still screaming inside you.”, the relatable heartfelt lyrics really strike a chord as you hear them, despite the visceral delivery. ‘Head in the Clouds’ has aged phenomenally well, and still sounds fresh when compared with today bands, or more recent State Faults releases.

The rest of the EP carries on in much the same vein, ’Nothing Stays’ building up slowly from a repeated guitar riff to a huge gut wrenching force of vocals and reverb laden drums. At some points the vocals can be overpowering and perhaps a bit shrill, think Deafheaven style squeals. Nonetheless this EP set the benchmark for the band going forward, and also a blueprint for the current trend in post-hardcore. State Faults are currently in the process of writing their latest album, this reissue provides a great stopgap release between 2012s ‘Desolate Peaks’ and the new record.

4/5

‘Head In the Clouds’ by State Faults is out on now on Tiny Engines.

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Words by Andy McGonigle (@andyjmcg87)

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