Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fear the State - Trust Nothing


Fear the State – Trust Nothing

Picture this, it’s Friday night, you’re out at a bar and you hear the band start to play. You find yourself actually liking them, so you go over to the “merch” table and pickup their disc for the price of a couple of beers. You get it into the nearest CD player and you end up listening to something that doesn’t sound anything like what you just heard at the bar. The sound quality is bad, the mix is bad, the bass is too loud, the vocals aren’t loud enough.

Fear the State’s first full length release, Trust Nothing, is NOT one of those albums. This album can stand up to any major label release you’ve heard. I mean that in two ways...both musically and sonically.

From the opening notes of Get To You, the first track on Trust Nothing, you think you’re given a glimpse of what you’re going to hear, but looks can be deceiving. When you hear the heavy guitars and the pounding rhythm section, it would be very easy to think of this disc in terms of what you’ve heard before…but then you get to the chorus. The chorus, and eventually the bridge, has a certain melodic element that works almost as a counterpoint to the overt heaviness of the verses.

That characteristic is carried on through most of the songs on Trust Nothing. You’re presented with songs that end up being unique in that the parts that make up the songs play very well off themselves. You have shifts in melody, rhythm and intensity that help to make the songs breathe and stay interesting after several listens. I also found that the choruses on Trust Nothing stuck with me…for days at a time actually. I’d find myself at home or in the office replaying music in my head and then realizing that it had come from this album.

There are also songs like Chance to Change where you end up with something that, while still fitting into the album as a whole, takes you on an entirely different musical trip. In my opinion, it has a completely different feel than the other songs on Trust Nothing and is a real stand out.

To give you a very quick and very general idea of my take on the songs, the following is a track list with some quick notes I jotted down while listening:

Get To You: Cool melodies and I dig the change in the bridge.

Live Again: Great lyrics and a quick nod to Van Halen’s Panama in the solo section. Great Track.

Play This Card: Heavy, percussive verses that play well with the vocals.

Stranded: Cool guitar parts that switch gears between verse and chorus.

She: Very cool, very twisted riff. Fun vibe.

Losing My Voice: My first introduction to the band. Very powerful lyrics. Great Track.

Frank Said: I like how the tune is very sparse in the verse and then really opens up in the chorus.

Chance to Change: An entirely different feel than anything else on the disc. Great track.

Tragedies: Great sound from the bass and guitar parts. Cool Lyrics.

Horror Film: Heaviest track on the disc. Tackles some pretty heavy political issues lyrically.

See Your Face: Kind of a heavy, sad tune.

World of Hate: Stylistically a bit different than the other tunes. Good chorus.

Stranger Things: Cool story in the lyrics. I dig the guitar parts and the melody. The vocals have this kind of Bowie thing going on in the verses. The more I listen to this track the more I like it.

So, that covers the songs on the disc, but how does it sound?

Sonically, Trust Nothing is by far one of the best sounding “Unsigned” albums I’ve heard. Everything is in its place. The album has a “fat” sound without being muddy, the highs are high and the lows are low.

One of the more interesting facts, though not that uncommon today, is that all of the production and engineering was done by vocalist and guitarist, Marc Amedola at his own studio, “The Audio Hotel Recording Studio” in West Haven, Connecticut. In visiting the studio’s website,, it appears that several other bands have recorded there as well.

So…there you have it. A sonically strong, musically strong album from a band you may have never heard of…but you will.

Fear the State is:

Marc Amendola (Guitars and Vocals)

Jim Dizm (Drums)

Neal Nereo (Guitars)

Jeff Sobon (Bass)

Fear the State is from the New Haven area of Connecticut and played their first show on August 13, 2004 at the legendary Toads Place in New Haven. Trust Nothing was released February 24, 2006.

Fear the State's webpage is
Fear the State's myspace page is
The Audio Hotel Recording Studio web page is

If you are interested in picking up a copy of Fear the State’s, Trust Nothing, you can do so at the following locations in Connecticut:

Cutlers: 25-27 Broadway, New Haven

Exile On Main Street: 60 Skiff Street, Hamden

Exile On Main Street: 267 East Main Street, Branford

Replay Records: 315 York Street – Saw Mill Plaza, West Haven

Merle's Record Rack: 1 Old Tavern Road - Firelite Plaza, Orange

Brass City Records: 489 Meadow Street, Waterbury

Phoenix Records: 384 Stillson Road, Waterbury

No Regrets Tattoo: 195 Rubber Avenue, Naugatuck

If you are not in Connecticut, or just so inclined, you can order Trust Nothing from either the Fear the State website or from their myspace page.

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