Earthstate is a new alternative rock band from Lyon, France. The band consists of Stane Jackson (vocals) Maxime Divetain (guitar), Dewi Morel (bass) and Thibs Gillie (drums). After building a strong friendship, they all wanted to build an ultimate project to share their influences, their ambitions and their vision of the world.
Their debut self-titled album has been available everywhere since March 22nd 2019. The band comments:
“The album tells the story of a fictional character who decides to leave his daily routine which he does not really enjoy. He goes off to face the unknown and build a better life in a place he doesn’t know (another city, another country, another planet?). Each song of the album will tell a part of his journey, from the moment he decides to leave, until the arrival in his new fictional el-dorado, “Earthstate”.
He goes through all kinds of adventures and emotions, like euphoria, doubt, fear and determination. This travel story will not be deliberately obvious at the first listening or at the first reading of the lyrics. The objective is that the listener can also compare each adventure lived by our character to real events in his daily life. For example, the first single “No Turning Back” talks about the importance of irreversible decisions that we have to make sometimes, and the consequences that we must assume later.”
Alternative rock is such an all encompassing description. It could mean so much and narrowing down a bands sound when they are described as such can be no easy task. Often it’s a ‘catch all’ to describe a band that has rock elements but also incorporates sounds not normally associated with rock and metal.
Earthstate are an alternative rock band with a lot of extras attached. They don’t just provide catchy rock beats but add metal moments, softer melodies and memorable rhythm sections. The end result is…a bit confused at times.
The problem are the shifts in tone.
After an electronica intro that suggest we’re going to get something a little upbeat it bleeds into The Decision where the same melody plays while guttural vocals scream out. It’s a pretty eye-opening start until we get to the bland clean vocals and uninteresting chorus. Mixing these with chunkier metal riffs and harsher vocals doesn’t quite work although it does raise interest in hearing the rest of the record.
Get Ready, Say Goodbye follows a similar formula but the melodic drop near the end is far more appealing. Although the warble effects littered throughout it are questionable.
Don’t give up on Earthstate yet though as The Void Call is a much more straight-forward rock number that gets the head nodding along. Even the more aggressive vocals interact more seamlessly before No Turning Back throws in a little bit of rap-lite vocals that are quite fun.
Showcasing their more melodic and soulful side is Interlude, a piano-driven song that really sounds beautiful. A lovely moment to enjoy from Earthstate.
The second half of the album begins with some heavy groove and really in your face metal in the form of Fallen Peace. The heaviest Earthstate have sounded so far.
Castle in the Air continues this heavier trend inter-spaced with the cleaner, less interesting vocals. It’s not that they’re bad, far from it but they really don’t light much of a fire under anything. Whereas After All is just not a very good track at all unfortunately reaching levels of bland not heard elsewhere on this album.
One final chance to leave with a good impression comes from the title track and it does it well. Eerie effects, a bit more energy and a wicked chorus ends things on a high.
Earthstate – Earthstate Full Track Listing:
1. Introduction to Redemption
2. The Decision
3. Get Ready, Say Goodbye
4. The Void Call
5. No Turning Back
7. Fallen Peace
8. Castle in the Air
10. After All
Earthstate - Earthstate (Self Released)
The Final Score - 5/10