Labeled as “post-punk” to some, We Were the States present a plethora of polished pop punk. Whether the band offers up “Up Your Sleeve”—which sounds like a cross of The Walkmen and Mooney Suzuki—the band nails “Red Lion” with a tightness and precision that brings to mind early Von Bondies. Put the real payoff is the foot-stomping “Till Morning Comes” led by the fun, sing-along chorus vocalist Justin Webb leads. We Were the States slow the record down somewhat with a stellar, slow-building “See If I Care” that could have been culled from The Killers songbook. Following the lengthy, groove-tinged “Girl, You’re Not a Thief”, the band opts for a leaner, garage rock gem entitled “Been Done Wrong” which is quite alright. Even a throwaway track such as “Hard” is alluring with its slow, breezy feel after nearly 10 songs of intensity. And if they haven’t won you over yet, the two-minute blazing “Please Be Quiet” should leave you talking about this group.
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