With animalistic excitation comes Deep State, draping the bodies of conformists with their anti-you, alternative punk on new release ‘Thought Garden’.
The album is built on a straight forward heavy punk sound but with a bit of listenable variety, in the form of rich melodies and sing-along choruses. It also uses a good bunch of breather tracks, or interludes, to calm itself down on occasion, not that the album necessarily needs calming down at all, the more aggressive it gets, the better. Going back to the catchiness, ‘Thought Garden’ reaches its melodic high point with ‘Mountains’, which has the old school punk edge of a Buzzcocks or Damned song, with a bit of modern accessibility thrown in to give it a bit more flavour.
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The production style of the album is very intentionally underground, with heaps of distortion not just on the guitars but on the recording in general. Songs like ‘No Idea, Pt. II’ and ‘Death Waltz’ embody this fairly dramatically, with the disgruntled-come-energetic performance fitting in nicely with a lo-fi sound. That being said, some songs may feel a bit too lethargic on the mixing side of things, with a lot of the drums sounding particularly tinny. Lo-fi production tends to work out quite well for these kinds of alternative albums, but perhaps a little more care would’ve made for a more enjoyable listen.
The moods of the album mainly switch between rebellion, distrust and loneliness, despite the slight chirpiness of the tracks. These talking points make for a decent grungy sound on some of the songs, namely ‘Nothing Speaking’. The vocals do a fine job of bellowing out these emotions; they help to keep the album going at a somewhat interesting pace throughout.
‘Thought Garden’ isn’t the kind of album you’d want to keep going back to, but Deep State do a fine job of making it an easy listen. Its strengths just about overpower its weaknesses, as its aggression/breeziness balance bats away its hit-and-miss mixing.
‘Thought Garden’ is out now via Friendship Fever