Statehood “Lies And Rhetoric” (Self-Released)
Statehood are made up of members of The Dismemberment Plan, The Vehicle Birth and Motorcycle Wars. The project originally began as a solo affair by Clark Sabine under the name Disconnected. However, the name was changed to Statehood when Sabine decided to expand into a full band. Most notably, Statehood sees the reuniting of bassist Eric Axelson and drummer Joe Easley of The Dismemberment Plan. Oh, and former Dismemberment Plan guitarist Jason Caddell produces Lies And Rhetoric.
While Sabine might have had most of these songs written before their arrival, you can notice the musical influence of Axelson and Easley from the very beginning. The rhythm section duo add a great deal of tension and groove to these songs. They create a solid, creative backbone for Statehood to work with. That coupled with the angular guitar give-and-take between Sabine and former Vehicle Birth guitarist Leigh Thompson drives these songs to another level. Vocally, Sabine is somewhat limited but not any more so than a vocalist like Jake Snider of Minus The Bear. What Sabine lacks in vocal presence he makes up for with an energetic snarl. And the band certainly has his back with fascinating arrangements and ample playing. Lies And Rhetoric is not one of those instant albums though. It takes time to grasp the intricacy of the band. Give it time and these songs will slowly seep into your subconscious.
Fair or not, Statehood will constantly be lined up against The Dismemberment Plan. There is simply no way around that. Yet, Lies And Rhetoric holds its own quite well thank you. Here’s to hoping that Statehood can keep it going. These four talented musicians have touched a nerve here. It should be a fascinating journey to watch the direction the band chooses to take in the future.
RIYL: The Dismemberment Plan, Gang Of Four, Jawbox