8 May 2021

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Living State - Single Review: One Sided

04 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Whenever I hear anyone bemoaning the state of music on the radio, I tell them to get out to places like Ding Dong and actually live and breathe what is really going on in the scene, not what some people just want to tell you. Last Saturday I was there at yet another gig, and while I was having a chat with one of the musicians a guy came up and joined in. I soon got to know that his name was Lex, and that he was bassist in a band called Living State, who had released a single titled One Sided, and did I have any idea how he could get more people to hear about the band and their music? I of course told him he needed to have the band on the #1 NZ music site, and if he sent me the single, I would review it. This is a conversation I have actually had many times, and more often than not, nothing ever happens. Imagine my surprise when the next day I had an email from Lex, with a link to their brand-new artist page on the site, plus a link to a google drive which contains various versions of the single, their video, a proper press release and so much more.

The next day I was sorting some things out on the computer so decided to put the single on in the background, but very quickly it became my focal point, and I switched to the video to see what that was like, and then sat back going “Wow!”. The music is provided by Peter (guitar), Cam (drums) and Lex (bass), and together they provide a very heavy bottom end dominated sound which is also incredibly commercial, System of a Down mixed with Tool, Nickelback, and The Darkness to create something that is dark and menacing, but also inviting us to the party. Then at the front there is singer Marissa who may seem gentle and quiet when the song starts, but it is all a front as she can really let rip when given the opportunity, but at least on the single stays somewhat controlled, like Amy Lee, but I am sure that live it is quite different indeed.

This is one of the most annoyingly catchy and vibrant debut hard rock singles I think I have ever come across, from a band even I had never heard of until a few days ago. I can play it on repeat and simply not tire of it and get something new from it each time. Marissa has double tracked her vocals at points, just single at others, while keyboards provide a slight harmony here and there while the guys just hit the riffs really hard. There is a clean version for radio, and also the one which we will sing in concert, and all l need to do now is get out and see these guys play! They are at Ding Dong on Saturday, but I already need to be in 2 gigs at once so can’t see me getting there in time, but I am going to try! Commercial hard rock with plenty of hooks, solid musicianship, and great vocals, this is killer. Oh, and the video is great as well, and it even has a storyline!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Living State

A four-piece band heavy rock band based in Auckland. Formed in 2018, their sound is a heady mix of Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, System of a Down & Tool juxtaposed with vocals influenced by Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Evanescence. Expect the unexpected.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Living State


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Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Emily Rice - EP Review: Auhua
06 May 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Over the last few months Emily Rice has been building up to the release of this EP, and of the six songs included on Auaha (which means to shape, create, form, fashion), four have already been released as singles, and I have reviewed three of them myself, so the EP feels already very much like an old friend, but for anyone yet to come across Emily and her work then this is a wonderful place to start. I first came across Emily and her husband in the wonderful folk duo Aro, but here her music is far more dance oriented as she brings in lots of different styles such as soft jazz, RnB, dub, and even a little touch of folk, but always with her wonderful vocals front and centre.
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04 May 2021 // by Kev Rowland
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Dan Sharp - EP Review: Water Went Away
03 May 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Proud Coromandel boy Dan Sharp is back with his latest EP, Water Went Away, and I can only concur with Corinne’s review of his last EP, Slack Tide, in that we really need an album! This collection of five songs loosely follows through the various stages of a breakup and the significant life changes that happen as part of that such as moving to a new house, moving town, being unable to access certain things, wondering what was going to happen next etc.
Gig Review: Pencarrow @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 01/05/2021
02 May 2021 // by Kev Rowland
I have lost count of how many times I have been to Ding Dong in the last year, I think it is somewhere between “lots” and “loads”, so consequently it is starting to feel very much like a place where every barman knows my name (and what I drink). I have been looking forward to catching Pencarrow since I came across their debut album Growth In The Absence of Light which was released last year.
Gig Review: BOTB Winners Tour with Big Tasty & guests @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 30/04/2021
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