It felt like spring outside today. I feel like that first smell of spring just always gives you a bump in energy and a bump in motivation. That’s exactly what I’m feeling right now so let’s not waste a minute of this motivation and let’s jump into some reviews! First up- State Drugs’ ‘Live, Laugh, Love.’
I was in love as soon as “Beautiful Broke” started playing throughout my house. This opening track instantly reminded me of Banner Pilot with a more ’90s influenced vocal style. The instrumentation is a little bit pop-punk but, overall, I really struggle to call this track pop-punk. Regardless, I loved it. From the lyrics to the upbeat drumming and the prominent guitars and bass, this track had it all and I could already tell that this album was going to be an instant favorite of mine.
As if this band couldn’t already get any better, the lyrics of “Good Enough” hit in just the right spot. “You’re enough, enough, enough/ All you are is all we need”. I feel like those words need to be said more often to friends and family especially right now when it feels like we are all being just a little too hard on ourselves given the strange times we find ourselves in. I could listen to this song on repeat a million times and still not get enough of it. The beat and overall style of “Good Enough” is a lot like “Beautiful Broke” but it changes every so slightly for “Goonies”. There’s a very Dave Haus feel to this song which is right up my alley. From the instrumentation to the words, everything in this track is just so perfectly placed and performed with such an undeniable sense of emotion.
Am I allowed to say that every song on this album is my favorite? “Offsides Forever” has a more indie-pop vibe to it while still having a bit of an edge to it that teeters into the world of pop-punk like the previous tracks. There’s a triumphant feeling in this that instantly brought a smile to my face and had me lost in this track. Before I knew it, it was being replaced by “Threat Level Midnight”. I was already sold on this song just based on the title (if you don’t know the reference well, I’m sorry) but the sweeping guitar part that opens up this track was the icing on the cake. There’s an almost grunge feeling in the vocals during this track. It’s an element that can be heard in the previous tracks but seems to just hit its stride in this track.
“County Culture” replaced the grunge-filled vocals with something a little more sensitive. This is a powerful track drenched in emotion. Overall, this one has a very 90’s vibe to it without the track feeling dated which, as a 90’s baby, I fell head over heels for instantly. This track, like the others, seemed to move fast but it was worth it to get to “Reason Season”. “Reason Season” starts off with the lines, “Shut up brain I’ve heard enough today/ I know that I’m sitting on a ticking bomb”. I mean, if those words don’t hit you then I envy your life and would gladly trade you. The drums really stood out to me in this track. Maybe it’s the timing of the drum fills or maybe I was just trying to ignore the all-too-real lyrics. Regardless, the drums really did shine in this track to me and, like everything about this band, they were flawless throughout.
I feel like by the time “A Little, A Lot” hit my speakers, I had heard it all from this band and this track just gave me a chance to try and catch all of those intricate details I had heard previously. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great track but I had spent every other track analyzing everything I could and picking out as many details as I could that I really just spent this track listening and getting lost in the perfection of State Drugs. I was so into just listening that it took me a second to realize that the closing track on this album, “Rain King”, is actually a cover of a Counting Crows track. I recognized it as soon as the chorus hit and felt at ease that I wasn’t crazy for feeling a 90’s vibe throughout this album. What a great cover for State Drugs to do. It fit their sound, their style, and they were able to make sure it’s clear that it’s them playing it, not Counting Crows.
I was in love with this album. Every single track brought something to the spotlight but was also so clearly that of State Drugs. Their ability to blend a pop-punk vibe with a classic 90’s sound and almost grungey vocals left me in awe.
My Favorite Track(s): Seriously all of them
For Fans Of: 90’s alt-rock; pop-punk undertones; simple but meaningful lyrics
Mosh-ability: 7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept right next to my desk; Autumn tried to eat a puzzle piece she stole off my table
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9.8 out of 10
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