California band State Faults’ brand new album Clairvoyant — their first full-length record in six years following 2013’s Resonate/Desperate — delivers a spiritually captivating burst of energy. Whatever’s just beyond the confines of this flesh and blood we see in front of us, keeping our bodies going — that’s where this record sits, delivering a primal scream from the abyss accompanied by frenetic music that feels perfectly primed to pull everything in its vicinity down into its black hole of mostly noisy mania. In other words, it’s not an easy or simple listen, but Clairvoyant is at times absolutely breathtaking, never really feeling as though an underlying flame of passion goes out or even flickers for a second. The intensity with which this newest calculated scream arrives on the scene ensures that listeners will easily get sucked along for the ride, which constitutes a roller coaster through mayhem.
The craziness, exemplified well by a single the band released that doesn’t even hit a full minute of runtime, feels like it’s getting at something deeper and not just for its own sake alone, although that can work too sometimes. Here, the band feel interested in what comes next — a musical “runner’s high,” so to speak, here applied to the chaos of melting down and getting pummeled from the inside. To that end, they freely incorporate atmosphere in their work, which while certainly pockmarked by the volleys of breakneck energy right alongside it, gets to stand on its own right and deliver a higher-up, birds-eye view of what the band are dealing with. This elevated and unique energy helps set the whole record’s tone since it largely defines the very first song, “Dreamcatcher, Pt. II,” which continues a story from the band’s 2015 EP Head in the Clouds, which opened with a track called “Dreamcatcher.”
They feel like they’re asking a question of how far “catharsis” can really go. There’s a portion or two towards the end when they wield some twinkling guitar parts, feeling as though underneath, they’re a passionate emotive band asking about our end. They’ve turned everything up to 11 and then some, allowing for the power and poignancy of their work to shine through that much more fully.
Clairvoyant drops June 21 via No Sleep Records. Check out a single below