State Route 522

Retrospective

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When done properly, nothing can be more dynamic and interesting than a nice, angst fueled grunge song. Although the genre peaked in the early '90s, many bands continued the sound well past that point. One of these artists is State Route 522, an indie act that never managed to get much attention, and, in fact, split up in 1997. The band was quite good, blending the complex riffing of Rein Sanction with fragile vocal work that brings to mind Lou Barlow. The highlight of their music was their excellent song structures, the lyrics were never really that great. Luckily, the band seems to realize this also as many of the songs have long, interesting instrumental parts that have a chaotic energy that keeps them engaging. The best example of this is "Avenue of the Giants," which has some excellent angular riffs that bring to mind classic Jawbox. They also do a good version of the Cure's "Jumping Someone Else's Train," reinventing it as a whiny emo anthem by beefing up the guitars. Overall, this is a good collection that showcases a band that may never get the credit they deserve, but at least they made some good music for a brief period in the '90s.

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