REVIEW: From States Away – Hypervigilant

Image: Album artwork

Image: Album artwork

Nowadays you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a generic pop-punk band “trying to make it” (you also couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a wannabe DJ or photographer, but that’s beside the point). It makes sense why there are so many generic bands – everything musically has already been done. So nowadays people are either making up ridiculous genres that no one really gets or saying “fuck it” and playing the generic-ish music they actually enjoy. And that’s cool, because with it comes a lot of maybe-not-game-changing-but-pretty-damn-good music. And pop-punk quintet From States Away is one of these pretty-damn-good bands. And luckily they are about to drop their sophomore EP Hypervigilant.

We’ve got to say, the band’s elevating pop-punk melodies and passionate, raw spirit from the get go, makes us immediately fall for them. The upbeat backing track of ‘Fight of Flight’ is laced with sadness and ache—relating to the delicate anxiety/depression-fuelled content of the song. The band displays a no-holds-barred kind of presence that can only be described as unbridled passion and incurable growing pains, a power that is possessed by intense, unconstrained bands like Four Year Strong—though clearly From States Away fall on the more mellow side.

‘Ashes’ is another track that contrasts angst-ridden lyrics with a brighter, optimistic melody. The energetic, bouncy tune is rather standard for the genre but, like most pop-punk songs, it would definitely go down well at Warped Tour, or in a more typical setting – a tight, sweaty local venue. Hell, it can even easily be sung along to in a hometown living room show. This kind of pop-punk is good anywhere. The Four Year Strong vibes are still present in ‘Ashes’, and in the beautiful, melodic ‘Serenity’, but are now intertwined with a very Real Friends/The Wonder Years crossover style of pop-punk.

‘Ferris Wheel’ is filled with delicate riffs and sentimental ties, but ‘Chasing Amy’ is definitely the ballad of the EP—well, as much of a ballad as a pop-punk band can do without going full-on acoustic. The slower, sensitive melody paired with the passionate, layered vocals makes for one harmonious song—maybe one of the best on the EP. And we’re not just saying that because we’re Kevin Smith fans. Honest.

Hypervigilant is filled with moving lyrics, passionate vocals and pop-punk enthusiasm riddled with sad, emotional undertones. All the ingredients for a solid pop punk release. We’re excited to see what From States Away do next. If they play their cards right, they could be the next big pop-punk band. And we could always use another one of those.

Hypervigilant by From States Away is released on 8th July via self-release.

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