The Maple State have hit on a formula which, whilenot exactly winning, probably deserves some credit:make the first track the worst one then, when you’velowered everyone’s expectations, slowly build them upagain until you put the best you can offer at the end.
This may not, however, be enough as while the ladswent down a treat at Brixton Academy last yearsupporting Blink182 side-project +44, on the evidencehere, they’re not much more than an average emo band,taking a bit too much from across the Atlantic whenthey’re actually from Stockport.
This might not sound like something to damn themfor, but you’ll understand when you listen forsomething – indeed anything – that you could saydefines their sound, that makes them distinctive. It’sjust not there.
Don’t Take Holidays is the kind of track that wouldmake a passable Green Day b-side; the eponymous Say,Scientist has some interesting keyboards, but wealready have a million bands that sound like this.Still, they may be able to milk the fact that not manyof these are home-grown. Luckily for them, there areprobably more than enough sullen Northern bratslooking for a Fall Out Boy to call their own to keepThe Maple State’s career going for a long while yet.
And the band does have its moments. Temperate Livesis a great anthem, and guitarist Christian Counsellcan play a mean riff. The furious energy of StartsWith Dean Moriarty gives a glimpse of why they’rebuilding up a strong live following.
Balancing the scales, it’s also important toremember that this is a work in progress – amini-album en route to their proper debut, honingtheir skill and testing the water with new tunes andre-recordings of ‘old ones’. It’s probably not meantto be the absolute best they can offer.
All told, Say, Scientist probably does do what itset out to. It introduces you to The Maple State,convinces you they’re a competent enough band in themould of Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotteand Blink182 and, in final track You And Me AndAn X-Ray Machine, suggests there’s something in therethat could rise above the crowd.
Enough to make you want to come back in a fewmonths and see how they’re getting on, anyway.