The State Of
The Live Studio Sessions EP (self-released)
The State Of, Frightdoll, and Andrew Bayuk
Drummer Nabedi Osorio and vocalist/keyboard Steph Taylor have become local favorites with their work as the State Of. They play well and share an excellent chemistry that, though it's kind of journalistically douchey to do so, can be compared to a few similar national acts. There are the sentiments and softness of Mates of State, the sexiness of Mommy and Daddy, and even the fun and cheekiness of Captain & Tennille. These six ditties, with honest and poetic lyrics, are great listens from beginning to end. "All Come Back" and "Anything for You" are repeat faves. Check these two out live; they are excellent and engaging.
Assimilation Illusion (Quantum Release Records)
Here's another disc I had in the "someday" pile, and I might as well get to it. Initially I thought, OK, this opens with a piano number à la Tori Amos. This might work 'cause Ms. Frightdoll is not that frightening and is kinda easy on the eyes if you're into that gothic look. And then "Alone in This" happens and, sure, it's that weird techno-tinged industrial thing with reverb-y bass that doesn't exactly make a lot of sense. She revisits the feel of the opening track on "Distant," while keeping the computerized stuff to a minimum, and closes on that note in the ambient "Sweet Serenity." I'd like to see more of the piano stuff.
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The Dreamer or the Dream (Guardians Records)
Andrew Bayuk hails from Coral Springs and for many years has been active locally. Here, in this 11-song effort, he further expounds on his folky take on protest compositions, guitar-driven numbers, and generally hippie-ish tunes. Just check the titles of songs such as "Through the Eyes of the Other" and "Think Peace." While not exactly on the Bob Dylan tip, Bayuk is certainly more interested in concepts of self-improvement, and his poetry drives the narratives that way. Local politicos might want to buy the rights to his closer, "Save the USA," if they plan on doing an honest job with their politicking. Oh, wait, that'll never happen.