20 Jun 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

Albi & The Wolves - Gig Review: Rock The Folk @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 18/06/2021
20 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
So, it was back to the lovely little venue which is The Tuning Fork. It is somewhere I always enjoy going to, as not only is the food and beer very good indeed, but there is a good sound and everyone can see.
LearningToDive - Single Review: You Said It Best
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Learningtodive is one of a series of projects from Bravo Bonez, a musician and producer currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. He released his first single under this name back in November last year, since when he has followed it up with more singles and his debut album Norwegian Pop, which came out in April.
Gig Review: Blitz Metal Fest @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 12/06/2021
13 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Well, today was a first for me, coming to Ding Dong in the daylight! This was because it was time for Metal Blitz, a 13-band event being held which was planned to run for 10 hours but we all thought was probably going to take longer.
Gatekeepers - Single Review: Always a Rebel, Never a Rogue
09 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Gatekeepers may be a new name to most of you, but this New Plymouth quartet have managed to secure the opening slot in Hamilton for the Devilskin and Kora show, so they have already started to gain some attention and based on this single one can hear why. The band was only formed earlier this year by guitarist/singer Jeremy Donoghue, rhythm guitarist Sean Phillips and bassist Mat Pipe, since when they have been writing and recording tracks before sending them to the UK to be mixed by Adam Wain.
Investigator - Single Review: Lake of Eyes
09 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Adrian Drew and his band of merry men are back with the third single from their forthcoming album and given what I have heard to date I am really looking forward to that when it comes out. While Adrian provides guitar and vocals, the band is now firmly settled with David Crowhen (bass) Undercut, Craig van Kan (drums), The Couch, and lead guitarist Adam Morton-Mason, These Fine Galleons.
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07 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to both survive the ravages of Canterbury’s wild weather and experience the force of nature which is Mudbelly, with the latter more than making up for going out in the driving rain to get to the gig. This means I am in the somewhat unusual position of having heard this song played in concert prior to coming across the recorded version, and it is interesting to hear just how different it is in this setting.
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Prior to hearing this single I had heard only positive things about Whanganui band DRXNES and having now played this I can see exactly why. This is a highly polished, highly produced number which sounds as if it has come out of a top American band and studio as opposed to little old Aotearoa.
Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Darkroom, Christchurch - 04/06/2021
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