The music business is a very unforgiving place. The window of opportunity to make a mark in the music world appears to be getting slimmer by the day, so it’s of the utmost importance to deliver your best material as consistently as possible. Easier said than done, right? The new Baltimore punk band, STMNTS, are well up to the task of delivering the goods on their vibrant new EP called Tendencies. The slick five-song record is filled with anthemic moments, crisp guitar tones, and well-timed vocals/harmonies to make the EP remain memorable. With a sound that fits well within the realm of the crunchy guitar riffing of Four Year Strong, to the sensitive side of The Wonder Years, paired with the great emo production of Bayside, STMNTS are taking full advantage of their time. This band makes emo/punk music look effortless, and it’s quite a fun listening experience.
The record opens in near-chaos as you hear the band getting their sea legs set right before launching into some crunchy guitar riffs similar to punk veterans, Four Year Strong. What STMNTS do well on the opener is to pace the song appropriately and know just when to dial things back so that vocalist Liam King can sing passionately above the guitars. Things continue to remain interesting on the title track, that features a great dual-guitar attack from Drew Chiodo and Jamie Black. King continues to command the vocals and makes his presence felt far and wide on each of his passionately-sung bars.
Add in a picturesque ballad in the form of “Meantime,” that is expertly sandwiched in the middle of the hardest hitting tracks, and STMNTS continue to showcase their impressive songwriting craft not usually seen on a debut record. Jeff McKinnon’s production is top-notch on songs like this, and he captures the vibe the band was seeking out nicely. “Handpainted” follows the campfire ballad with mid-tempo verses building up to another anthemic, and crowd-pleasing chorus. EP closer, “Past Tense” allows for some crowd participation in the rhythmic guitar verses, paired with the steady beat provided by drummer Shawn Smyth, to continue the acceleration of getting this band out in the forefront of conversations of a “band to watch” as this year unfolds.
You get the feeling that this band could be big, really quickly, especially if they get placed on a tour that showcases what makes them so damn special. I, for one, will be passionately cheering them on from the sidelines to ensure this becomes their reality. One hell of a statement here on Tendencies.