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Solstate Album Review

09 Jun 2013 // A review by Alistar3000

It’s always interesting listening to an album where one person has written and recorded the entire thing. There’s that element of risk involved, with no band mates to bounce ideas off, while at the same time allowing the performer to single-mindedly follow their vision for the album. Sometimes it works well, and sometimes it falls flat. Solstate’s new self-titled album falls firmly into the first category.

Essentially the solo output of Auckland’s Troy McKubre, with help on some tracks from friends (including Boh Runga), Soulstate play heavy-ish alternative rock, with an electronic element. Troy seems to have known exactly what he wanted from this album, and has delivered a pretty solid follow up to 2008’s Whispers and Tremors.

The album starts out sounding a little like 90’s Irish rockers Therapy? on opening track Smile, It’s Only War, and pretty much stays on that track throughout, with a couple of deviations into mellower territory on Atheum’s Way and again on Apnea – think late Shihad (the mellower stuff they’ve done in recent years).

At times it’s hard to believe that this is really just one guy playing the instruments, although with help on a few tracks – mainly with the drums. Boh Runga’s vocals on the album deserve a special mention I think, as they add so much to the tracks she appears on, and gives another layer to the sound. She’s particularly good on closer Black Air, which reminded me of Strawpeople, although heavier and darker.

I really liked the album; it’s a refreshing blast of good, heavy rock, that never feels like it falls into the traps many similar bands fall prey to. Well worth checking out.

About Solstate

Solstate have just announced the release of their debut album

˜Whispers & Tremors"

due out mid November 2008.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Solstate

Releases

Solstate
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Whispers And Tremors
Year: 2008
Type: Album

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