State Faults - Clairvoyant (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

State Faults

Clairvoyant (2019)

no sleep records

If you're a screamo/post-hardcore fan, it feels like Christmas getting a new State Faults record hot on the heels of a Defeater one. I remember listening to "Wildfires" off Resonate/Desperate six years ago and thinking this band really had something unique to them. The more I dug in and connected to Jonny Andrew's lyrics (quite poetic), the more he really helped me into the Wave aka bands like Pianos Become the Teeth, The Saddest Landscape, Departures, Caravels and Touche Amore etc. I liked this movement before but I must say State Faults redefined how the music impacted. That said, it's really great to hear them amp it up and get angrier, louder and more in-your-face come Clairvoyant at a time when this kind of music holds a way different meaning for me in my 30s.

At first, I felt like it'd be a bit closer to home in terms of style like the last album, which admittedly isn't a bad thing, but they quickly throw fans for a loop with a Deafheaven-esque opening banger. "Dreamcatcher pt. II" seriously rips with the fury and ferocity I heard off Sunbather, but here, it's State Faults putting a black metal twist on their own sound. Now that's not to say they kill off the vibe of old as you can hear that signature on tracks like "Sacrament" and the slow-building "Olive Tree" but it's really amazing how fresh they've kept their sound, killing off my fears that older me wouldn't really gravitate to a sound I loved in my 20s.

I mean, the guitars are blazing fast and relentless, but the way drummer Jared Wallace drives everything home, I haven't been impressed with kit work like this in a long time -- probably since PBTT's last album too. It's an even bigger highlight on songs like the title track: which has a slow-hardcore approach to it, thick baselines and crunchy, reverb-laden guitar aesthetic that make you wonder how good State Faults would be if they did even more 'ballads.'

As for the melody I think balances their sounds best, I'd say look to "Baptism" which stands out as the most engaging and accessible joint on tap. By the time "Contaminature" wraps, though, you'd wonder if you just heard a more aggressive and cut-loose La Dispute, which once more reiterates how much this band should have been part of the Wave. Well, now State Faults are doing their own thing, leading and carrying a torch I can't see many people replicating.