State Drugs


State Drugs / Zephr split 7″

A feel-good track each from Denver’s own STATE DRUGS and ZEPHR. “Mr. Untitled” (STATE DRUGS) is soft, and almost a little sappy, yet earnest. A minor scale lead walks up and down over a jangly rhythm guitar while the vocalist croons out “Are we OK? / The world’s scaring the shit out of me / There’s no escape / No point to stay / No where to leave,” the fatalism of which hits home for, I imagine, too many. “Landline (J’ai Une Âme Solitare)” (ZEPHR) is a little more playful and noisier, with classic ambient shouts from backing vocals under “Hanging on a landline / Feeling low / Can’t get myself outside.” These songs could fit in any of the early-aughts Warped Tour compilations, but are obviously covered in the makeup of our present. All in all, they make a cohesive split—have a rainy day listen.

State Drugs Takings & Leavings LP

This is a compilation of previous recordings/releases from this Colorado band. It reminds of later HÜSKER DÜ with EVAN DANDO-like vocals; a little ARMCHAIR MARTIAN-sounding at times as well. This is decent, but surely not on the level of the aforementioned bands. Still, I like this melodic, somewhat crowded genre, and this band isn’t bad at it.

State Drugs Takings & Leavings CD-R

This CD collects STATE DRUGS’ recordings from 2015-2017. They excel at the end of melodic hardcore/pop punk that would have been called college rock in the ’80s and ’90s. And indeed, they wear their influences on their sleeves, with a workmanlike cover of the REPLACEMENTS’ “Left of the Dial.” At their best, they remind me more than a tad of the MOVING TARGETS and the NILS. Excellent indeed.

Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Heavies / State Drugs split cassette

Although I had never heard of STATE DRUGS, it came as no surprise that it was some Americana type stuff which, if you know me, you know I’ll get down with that shit if I have to. Musically, this kinda comes off as WALLFLOWERS, but with an even less inspired singer. Some subdued PAVEMENT feels every now and then, but not enough to grab me and take me on a wild ride. NATO has an organ in the band now (or maybe I just forgot), which just solidifies his weird-yet-unchallenged position as the absolute best “E Street” punk you ever did hear, which, I gotta admit, I can be a fan of sometimes. Oh yeah, the organ on this gives off a total BLUES BROTHERS vibe, which I totally made fun of the first time, but here I am listening to it again. A few whiffs of early LUCERO-style songwriting seem to be creeping into his usual REPLACEMENTS / BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-inspired tunes this time around. The punks are gonna trash this, for sure, but if you already like Nato’s stuff, these new songs ain’t bad.

State Drugs College Radio CD-R

A trio of guitar and harmony-drenched “college rock” punk efforts, along the lines of Creator-era LEMONHEADS and the first MOVING TARGETS LP. These aging ears are delighted that the kids are still kicking out the melodic jams in this genre.