28 Sep 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

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On Tick is the brainchild of brothers Brendan (vocals and drums) and Aidan O'Loughlin (vocals, guitar), and was formed from the ashes of their previous musical outfit, Evil Tomato, who began as a band in 2012. They came across 5-string bassist Matt Hammond when they heard the demoes for Black Sands, which he not only produced but played on, and he joined forces to work with them on the album and to allow them to play in the Ding Dong Battle of the Bands.
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