“Peace and Hate” is the perfect opening for The Submarines, as it shows their ability to create a catchy indie-rock track that continues pushing on listeners even though the tempo is slower than many comparable songs. The inclusion of airy guitars during the track will make individuals remember acts like The Red Hot Valentines, while the blend of vocals scream The Anniversary. While the second set of vocals drops out for “Clouds”, the compelling nature of The Submarines continues.
The band’s unorthodox instrumentation and arrangement during the track still will bring individuals into a well-traversed field. This time, the band firmly plants itself in a brand of indie rock that was popular in the early to mid nineties. The scattershot that The Submarines make on their target is very close; the album is self-contained and cohesive. Individual tracks can be taken in an episodic fashion, or individuals can listen to the entirety of the disc and pick up some nuances that merely listening to single tracks will not reveal. At some point, The Submarines are probably the band that makes the road to stardom seem easily; with each track a piece of indie-rock brilliance, the band seems to be flying high on “Declare A New State”. The deliberate stretching of the tempo during “Hope” is a perfect counterweight to the title emotion. Everything seems so mechanical and depressing during the track, even as the dreamy and soft-spoken vocals seem to shed some sunlight on the gloom of the instrumental arrangements.
The disc may only run for about forty minutes, but “Declare A New State” is an album that can be played back to back indefinitely. The songs are not throw-away pop creations, but are richly ornamented with layers and layers of instruments and vocal nuances. The Submarines come up with an album that speaks to all who listen in; this may be the most heart-breakingly honest indie album of the year. This is not the angular rock of acts like Franz Ferdinand, and it is not the faux-arena rock of acts like Keane; this is an expansion upon what acts like Radiohead did in the nineties and Sigur Ros did in the early two-thousands, albeit modified for a current audience. The Submarines flirted with brilliance a number of times during the album, but the real test will be whether the band can expand on this sound and continue this trend both in live and future studio settings.
Top Tracks: Hope, Peace and Hate