State To State - Motives

Review by Dom Vigil

A short, five song EP like Motives is the perfect taste test to make you fall in love with State To State. With a guitar driven atmospheric sound and stunning vocal melodies to back it up, Motives is captivating, fun and most of all, different. While listeners may hear a few hints of Muse or Radiohead in the EP, the sound on Motives is most certainly unique to State To State, and by the time the short EP comes to an end, you’ll understand what I mean.

Opening track, “My Little Phony” grows and progresses quite a bit within three minutes, from dark and grungy to big and bright within seconds. The explosive opener is definitely guitar driven, with the guitar work providing quite a bit of the emotion in the song, but that’s not to say that the vocals, bass and drums don’t follow suit. The great thing about “My Little Phony” is how well each instrument works together. On top of the stellar (and ever changing) guitar work, there are also some very nice drum fills, fuzzy bass, and captivating vocals that will keep you interested for the entire song and leave you wanting more by the time it ends.

The cool thing about this EP is the diversity between songs, too. “Arms” sounds absolutely nothing like “My Little Phony,” taking on a more atmospheric quality with soft guitar, strong bass, and absolutely stunning vocal harmonies. “Arms” swaps crazy guitar work for a more laid back sound, putting the focus on the vocals and bass work. While the soft guitar plucking still drives the song at times, the change of pace is a testament to State To State’s versatility. There is a really great balance between the instruments on this song, and on Motives as a whole.

Following “Arms” is “Let Go,” which is much sleepier and not quite as catchy as the first two tracks, but again, the change in pace and sound is not only a pleasant surprise, but it also speaks for the bands’ diversity. The strong moments on “Let Go” definitely come in the soaring vocals and brief crescendos. “Kings” then takes us right back to the beginning, with strong guitar and bass spearheading the song, backed up by smart drumming and stunning vocals. The way that “Kings” progresses is quite similar to the first track, with every instrument conveying the different moods and emotions, where normally, most artists rely just on the vocals.

“Pins And Needles” is a slow ending for the EP, but that doesn’t make it any less strong than the other four songs. Beautiful low vocals and soft guitar kick off the song, but it ends big, with the full band coming in to support a huge explosion of sound.

Motives is really the perfect five song EP to get new listeners acquainted with State To State. Normally, it is easy to finish listening to an EP feeling unfulfilled, but that is not the case with Motives. Not only does each song progress beautifully, but the EP as a whole does, as well. Each instrument perfectly conveys emotion, energy and meaning in each track, making them worth listening to a few times over, just to get the full effect. Motives is a success.

Rating: 5/5

Listen to "My Little Phony"


Conrad Keely - Original Machines

Silver Snakes - Saboteur