KENT STATE: Samsara: 7”

Sep 17, 2015

L.A.’s Kent State self-describes their music as “psychedelic death pop,” which reminds me of the long ingredient list on package of processed food—this might be the best candy bar I ever tasted, or it could be Cheez-Its. For me, it’s a bit of both. “Samsara” is undeniably catchy. A couple core phrases fight the fuzzing guitar and make the verses sway. The chorus, over which singer Nick Vance croons “waiting for the world to end,” with his part oldies radio part K Records or Matador Records groan, will be stuck in my head until I get assailed by my neighbor’s radio, which always plays The Doors. The sole other song on this EP, “Planetary Wounds,” might be one of those tracks that, on an album, I could grow to love as that cloudy passage between more melody, more purchase, more whatever. By itself—and maybe this is my philistine side talking—”Planetary Wounds” sounds like a guy talking through a two-way radio while his friend hits a couple guitar notes through a flanger pedal. Next time I’m at Subway and I’m ordering The Kent State Samsarsamwich, I’ll get extra peppers, oregano, and the usual shredded plastic, but I’ll hold off on the planet sauce and wound cookies. 

 –Jim Joyce (Debt Offense, / Debt Offensive, / Paranoid Futures, [email protected])