90s Brit-Pop meets 70s Punk Rock meets Y2K Williamsburg | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

90s Brit-Pop meets 70s Punk Rock meets Y2K Williamsburg

We Were The States release debut album merging The Walkmen, Oasis, Dead Boys, Murder City Devils, et al. "The building blocks of this spry full-length debut are dynamic left turns slathered in the Lower East Side guitar fuzz of Television by way of The Strokes. Opener "Up Your Sleeve" sets the scene with a badgering garage rock riff from The Sonics' playbook that repeatedly burns itself down to the wick." -- Austin Chronicle

Murfreesboro, Tennessee might seem an unlikely birthplace for a band that merges a variety of cosmopolitan music styles into one exciting whole, but the debut of We Were The States proves that rock music still has a few compelling permutations available to a band that knows how to combine all the right elements. Believe The Thieves is such a dramatically effective debut, cleverly interweaving sounds reminiscent of late 70's NY rock renaissance (Television, Dead Boys) with early 90's Brit-Pop (Oasis, Blur) and contemporary urban indie rock (The Walkmen, The National).

The band has released the first video off its Chicken Ranch Records debut, for the infectious song "Up Your Sleeve".

The band as we know it today began in February of 2007 but its roots can be traced back to 2003. Jay Stoyanov and Justin Webb met at the restaurant they both worked at in Murfreesboro, TN. After a couple of years of writing and playing with several musicians, they finally found a solid line-up with the addition of Ben Moore on bass and Nick Devan on drums. They recorded and self released an EP. Nick later left to curate the National Knife Museum and was replaced by the outstanding Tyler Coppage. In 2007, they signed with Austin indie Chicken Ranch Records, changed their name and sound, and began work on their debut full length entitled Believe The Thieves.

The album was produced by Tennessee rock staple Brian Carter (The Features, Glossary, The Nobility). The album was recorded in two weeks but Brian and the brave men of WWTS spent several months tweaking every element to the desired sonic quality. What is left is a disfunctionaly glorious piece of sound.

We Were The States succinctly describe themselves thusly:

"We live off Bukowski, red wine and Italian food. Our stereos swell with the sounds of The Kinks, The Walkmen, Oasis, Dandy Warhols, and the like. We are men of passion. Some are college educated, some would rather stay out of it. It is no doubt that all are wise."

Whichever way one might attempt to summarize We Were The States, it ought to be immediately apparent by the sound of its powerful debut that the band brings an inspired small-town Southern interpretation of influences more commonly associated with big city lore.

"Do you ever get a hankering for rambunctious rock with just a hint of class? Like the best punk band in the world wearing custom made tailored suits? Or maybe a gang brawl with those participating adorned in top hats and canes while snapping their fingers West Side Story style? Well if you're like me, then the answer is a resounding "yes". My latest fix for this niche is Tennessee's We Were The States, whose bouncy garage rock style reminds me of the Hives, with a bit more southern spice, and by "bit" I mean a whole case of red pepper." – Azltron

"Tennessee's We Were The States have been together in their current format for slightly over 12 months, just long enough for them to carve out their own unique style. Their debut long player Believe The Thieves is a chaotic pot pourri of Nuggets style garage rock ('Up Your Sleeve') seen through a late 70's CBGB's prism ('See If I Care') with a dash of Zutons style pizzaz and a sprinkling of Radiohead circa Pablo Honey ('Try' and 'Girl You're Not A Thief.') – The Devil Has The Best Tuna

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