If you are looking for some new and exciting rock sounds then maybe head over to the debut album from UK band States of Matter. With a flavoursome mix of classic and hard rock with extra spices from far and wide The Scheme of Things will more than feed the demands and senses of rock fans everywhere. Eight tracks of enthusiastic and finely crafted rock n roll it is hard to imagine many that will not be wrapped up within its energised eagerness immediately and permanently. To be honest classic and hard rock with very few exceptions fly by our tastes only receiving a cursory glance at best but this little enthused piece of sound has had a few secretive and furtive returns on top of just around the review.
Formed in September 2011, the quintet from Bournemouth is as new as the sounds they rustle up with skill and strength. Taking influences from the likes of and as wide as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Yellowcard, Ray Charles, and Kids In Glass Houses, they have taken no time in grabbing attention with live shows around the south of England and their debut video for opening song on the album Skyline. Filmed at Bristol Filton Airport earlier in the year it offers all you need to know about States of Matter and The Scheme of Things.
Skyline emerges on a wave of electronic atmosphere as a sizzling guitar lights up its skies with a fine display of melodic invention. The song builds up its elevated presence before reaching a plateau of powerful riffs and boisterous energy which finds an even more enthused intensity within the excellent infectious chorus. The track is an immediate hook from the album, an invitation into its arms that is impossible to resist. The vocals of George Holloway are impressive and easily fit the stylish sounds surrounding him, backed by great group vocals throughout the song.
As indicated in the opener the guitars of Harrison Perks and Richard Couchman are another element of the songs which one cannot fail to be impressed with, the following Jeez Louise sealing the opinion with some fine and imaginative play from both. The song is a definite favourite on the album, another irresistible slice of strong songwriting and its contagious unleashing. Though not always as openly heard as one would like on the more raucous tracks, the bass of Iain Sheppard is a brooding growl behind the song, his obvious ability adding a groove behind the scorched guitar sounds.
The album as it progresses reveals a diversity of sound and intent which is to be admired especially as the band pulls it off each and every time. The power ballad Cassiopeia is an emotive feast for the ear of passion fuelled piano and guitar majesty, the track rising and dipping in intensity like a heavy hearted chest. The power and reach of the song explores beyond the ear to wrap tightly around senses and emotions, a masterful piece of composing brought forth with further passion.
The eighties rock flavouring of Hot Of The Press adds another taste to the album and though it is not as striking as the trio of songs before it, classic rock fans will love its easy and anthemic sounds. The track, alongside Shotaway and the closing Hit For Six, did not quite find the appeal as elsewhere here but that is down to personal taste only and the dislike of the genre that spines them. They are like the medicine that you know is good for you but has a taste that makes one reluctant to take it, for those that love older rock sounds they will drool over them.
The remaining two songs on the album are the soulful Only Lovers Left Alive with a great southern twang to its provocative charms and the excellent The Casual Company. With a splatter of sleaze to its bluesy rock stance it has a splash of Wasted Sinners to it that draws one in eagerly. The rhythms of Lloydi Gee Pearson throw the ear into a frenzied state as the bass and guitars twist and turn with exuberance and ingenuity. The track is real rock n roll brought by real rock n rollers and pure pleasure.
If you love your classic and hard rock you will adore States of Matter and if not you will still find more than enough satisfying and imaginative things within The Scheme of Things to have a great time in its company, we did.