LIKE many hard rock acts in the UK The Fallen State have been bubbling under for a while, but with their latest release 'Nova' from their new EP getting some serious airplay it seems their star is on the rise.
On first listen to 'The View from Ruin' can evoke a bit of a 'meh' response, but it is worth persisting. The single is one thing, but take the EP as a whole and a repeat listen it all comes together, and makes not only sense but gives you that wee feeling that this is a good 'un.
Almost all of the five tracks give you that small thrill of good honest rock music. Opener 'The Quickening' has a nice, solid slab of hard rock, as does the swing of closer 'Lifetime'.
The fact that this is the fifth EP The Fallen State have released it is clear that the five-piece have knuckled down to extend not just their repertoire, but the dynamics in their writing musically and lyrically.
It is also an emotional statement, with the lead video release 'Nova' a personal reflection on loss, regret and taking positivity from the experience according to the band.
Guitarist Jon Price said: "Nova is probably the most heartfelt song we have
written to date. Members of the band have experienced loss in a deep way over
the past few years.
"We hope the story of Nova will resonate with the fans and
they will identify with the overall positive aspect of the song, as well as the
sad elements seen in the video [Link Below]."
And, indeed the song does have that certain something that makes it stick in your mind.
Ben Stenning's voice is a feature of every track with his resonate phrasing and depth, while Price may have all the licks on his lead work, the rhythm work of Dan Oke (guitar), Greg Butler (bass) and Rich Walker (drums) hold the tracks together.
If there is one minor fault on the EP is the fact that 'Sleepless' tends to veer too close to schmaltz, only narrowly avoiding that trap. But in the context of the overall 'feeling' of the EP it works.
While 'Nova;' will attract the most plaudits it is worth sitting down and taking in the release, with 'Four Letter Words' sitting as an almost hidden surprise to the aural tracts.
The Fallen State are set for a series of dates in March as well as sets at Wildfire, Amplified and Ramblin Man Fair, and on the strength of this release they will see more people down the front checking them out.
Review by Jonathan Traynor