Savestate – At Least We Tried (Review)

Savestate – At Least We Tried

Kidderminster based alternate rock outfit Savestate are known for their bittersweet aggressive rock sound. Returning to the scene after a short time of not releasing music, ‘At Least We Tried’ is an explosive debut album that needs your attention. With elements of euphoria in the mix of their hard-hitting music, the melodic outfit are illustrating that alternative rock has a fresh face and name, and it’s Savestate.

At Least We Tried” is an album 3 years in the making, recorded and mixed between day jobs in makeshift home studios when time and convenience allowed. It’s honestly a pretty nihilistic record, but there are slivers of hope hidden between the raindrops of noise and despair. It’s also quite catchy in places, we promise. – Benjamin (Frontman)

At Least We Tried – Pt. 1’ begins with a sinister, yet comforted orchestral flavour. Synths slightly highlighting a darker element, it’s just before halfway through that the short number takes a sudden change of feel. Feeling somewhat euphoric, it shines a sense of hope in what feels like darkness. Relatable in the current state of the world, the title track soars with guidance. ‘Failed State’ is a previously heard track that was released as a single back in 2017. More energetic, it feels like The Pixies meets early Foo Fighters. Failed State is a statement that the band have a heart very much wired to the 90s.

Bloodlust’ is more hard rock orientated, but it’s the vocal melodies that still fuse the 90s into this modernised sound. The over 4 minute wonder will get your head bobbing and may even grace you to your feet for a mini mosh pit in your quarantine routine. ‘I Am in Control (OK)’ feels like the frustrated battle of mental health. Relatable more than ever, I Am in Control (OK) illustrates a kind of reassurance in the title but the song itself is bathed in grit and anxiety. A dark number that twists and turns through the realm of tension.

Heaven Sent’ features a stunning guitar tone that sits just behind the mix but is still as prominent as you’d like. With a subtle element of psychedelic in the track’s structure, Heaven Sent is up there as one of the strongest tracks on the album. ‘Thieves’ Agreement’ glistens in a true dream like arrangement. My personal favourite, the track runs away with a subtle shoegaze element in the production while the instrumentation is still hard-hitting. ‘Seeker’ uses a post-punk, 80’s shimmer in it’s core while the vocals still situate in a true 90’s melodic way. It feels that this track is a filler on the album, but saying that, it’s still prominent on the release.

Bethlehem’ is a strong contender on the release. Featuring a memorable chorus, a strong arrangement and instrumentation to die for, ‘there’s no room left in Bethlehem’ stands out as a big lyric on the album. With so many different metaphors underlining that statement, Bethlehem leaves listeners wanting to know more and needing more music. Onwards with the LP! ‘Chiaroscuro’ transports listeners firmly back to the 90’s. There’s influences from artists such as Soundgarden and even Jeff Buckley in the mix of this number, and anyone that knows me knows I’m a huge fan of both of them. ‘Chiaroscuro’ is for any fans of alternative rock movement in the 90s. ‘At Least We Tried – Pt. 2’… yep, you guessed it, there’s a part two to the beginning of the album! With a fragrance of progressive rock in the album too, this experimental drone still holds a sinister head that the first part entails too. 

Shelf Life (Fall from Grace)’ is a breathtaking alt rock track with subtle shades of folk in the lyrics too. With a spacious production under it’s belt, the just over 4 minute long number feels like the album slowly coming to a close while grabbing hold of your attention still Last number ‘Curtain Call’ (appropriate song placement!) is the longest track on the album and just may be the fiercest on the whole release. It may be the end of the release, but Curtain Call makes you want to stick it on repeat continuously. An exceptional debut from the Kidderminster based band.

Score: 8/10


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