What would you get if Bruce Springsteen used a bunch of mangled digital synths embedded in all his ballads? If you add deeply understated vocals coupled with female backing and the occasional duet part, you get Good Night, States. GN,S is a band from the Mid-Atlantic region with members from Pittsburgh, Philly, and NJ, so the Bruce connection is real. Their new album, Country/Static is aptly named. A collection of deep ballads delivered with quiet intimate vocals, traditional rock arrangements, and odd twisted synth sounds.
Stand out tracks include Inside for its sheer beauty; Fog In The Valley for its basic normality; and Head In My Direction for being as upbeat and rockin’ as Good Night, States gets. Some of the synth parts seem quite at odds with the basic tracks. I’m not sure whether this entirely works, but it is very intriguing. Check out Everybody Is Sound for a particular example. Tired of Making Sense channels U2 for a mild change of pace.
If I had to levy any criticism, and you know I do, it’s just that GN,S is a bit mopey. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good song that makes me want to contemplate suicide, but a whole album of that just seems overwhelming. I think each song is very successful individually, so you be the judge of the compendium. Good Night, States’ Country/Static is available April 5, 2012. Go get it!