Thursday, September 22, 2016

State Of Mine - Devil In Disguise (2016)

Hailing from Michigan, these alternative/hard rockers certainly have something for fans of acts like Five Finger Death Punch and early Motograter, which is what they sound like. Even more so than the acts they've been compared to on the press release: Mice & Men, Shaman's Harvest, Sevendust and Gemini Syndrome. While I haven't quite heard of all of those bands, I know for sure that State of Mine have not even the clearest resemblance to Sevendust as I've been a fan of those guys since I was a teenager. What we have here is an act that channels quite a bit of Five Finger Death Punch in their most modern and accessible era, which will do great for record sales, but not strike so hard for originality. What surprised the hell out of me though, was how close to Moody's vocal tone the frontman got on this record – it's unreal. Put those two together in a music program and you'll be quite astonished by the similarity. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but I don't know how well it's going to do for these guys to go so close to an approach that sounds just like that of the current kings of radio rock. “Curtain Call” is the track they're promoting and even have a video for, which certainly seems to have a lot of FFDP worship especially considering the chorus. Now Flaw could also be cited, but Flaw was performing their style long before Motograter joined Moody (and if anyone's ever heard Motograter before Moody, you'll know that they were an entirely different band at that point) and it could even be argued that Ivan Moody borrowed from Flaw in their early days (even though that's highly debatable.)

In any case, fans of a familiar radio rock approach (with added electronics) will find something here within the downtuned riffing and catchy chorus matter that pervade through the disc. There are some strong nodes in the chorus line for “Stones” as well as the closer “Broke By Monday” which reminds me of some of the good times during my teenage years, where we would all ride around on the back roads and listen to radio rock while getting stoned. I'm far too old for that mess now, but back then it was quite an experience. Devil In Disguise is chock-full of radio hits from front to back and I'd certainly recommend it to those who have no problem with commercial approaches. It's not too bad, but certainly nothing I'd outright recommend unless you want to have more radio-friendly hard rock music in your life. I have more than a few friends that would enjoy it, and I think personally that these guys are just one hit away from a major radio breakthrough. But I feel like I've personally heard it all before as far as this goes and it's really nothing all that special. Feel free to check the video and give them a listen for yourself, if this is something that interests you.

(7 Tracks, 25:00)


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