Nothing breaks my spirit more than investing $12 in a new CD that becomes a glorified reflective coaster after a single listen. I live in a two-bedroom apartment with a cat named after a whiskey company. I have little use for coasters. I have a lot of uses for $12. Regardless, the musical Russian roulette experience is a necessary part of the game. Sometimes you get out on top with a CD that becomes an extension of your person. Sometimes you buy Speak In Code by Eve 6.
The problem is, anyone with a Macbook Pro and enough computer savvy to operate Pirate Bay can release a CD. Or, if you've ever experienced even a taste of fame in a previous band, no matter how brief or indie, you can usually eek out a record that's mildly danceable and might attract enough teenage girls to partially fill a club on a Thursday night.
Enter States. The five-piece experimental-pop-rock outfit is formed from the corpse of Copeland and an ex-member of Lydia, and while Room to Run is certainly not the worst record of 2012, it's as fresh as Sum 41 and as memorable as Ja Rule. What's worse, after repeated listens, I still can't pick out the "single."
"Timebomb," once you peel away the Paramore-esque vocals and distorted guitar, transitions into a really nice chorus and features excellent harmonies, but there's nothing that begs you to come back for more. Sure, the chorus repeats a lot, since it's obviously catchy, but how many times can you listen to the same two lines?
I need variety. I need depth. I need a record that takes a left when I'm expecting a right. I want to be wooed and impressed and offered something I haven't experienced before. That's the point of creating something new, is it not? To offer your own take on something you love?
I know vocalist Mindy White has the chops -- "Generation" features a soaring chorus atypical of the usual mid-tone singing. And for just a second, I thought "Follow It Home" might pull back the curtains and showcase a part of the band that was hidden. But then A lead to B and the drums rolled into the chorus and everything pieced together like a perfect little musical puzzle.