Many bands come and go over the years, especially in the underground music scene. That is exactly what happened with STATIC TENSION. The originally late 90s band was disbanded and remained inactive for more than a decade. However STATIC TENSION decided to return to the music scene in 2015 with an EP called “Rebirth” and two years after their reform, it is here with its latest EP called “Out Of Reach”.
It is quite rare to see a band find its sound right away , but STATIC TENSION seems to have achieved that, creating its own style and genre, calling it progressive grunge. But what is progressive grunge anyway? After giving a good listen to the EP, it is not hard to figure out that the emphasis on vocal melodies and grooving bass lines is stealing the show in most of the songs. Adding to that, it seems that the guitar melodies are well-polished while there is significant care for the melody, causing the end result to drift away from grunge’s original punk influences.
Since the EP’s first song “PSM” and throughout the end of the EP, bass lines are impeccable. STATIC TENSION has nailed the bass with incredible and distinguishable melodies, managing to stand out at a time when bass lines do not attract much attention in the music industry. Whenever the guitars pause, the bass is already there to fill the void with some pretty interesting and memorable riffs. From “PSM”, to “Faith To Fault” and especially in the EP’s heavier song “Down From Three”, there is a nonstop bass grooving and in many cases it also serves as the leading instrument, which is a really pleasant surprise.
“Incredible and distinguishable bass melodies, managing to stand out at a time when bass lines do not attract much attention in the music industry.”
The guitars have many variations and different styles. During the first four songs the guitars have a hard rock tone, with interesting stoner-like riffs and fine solos emitting a true grunge vibe. However, from the blues break of “Down From Three” up until the end of “Out Of Reach”, guitars are emphasized in much more gentle melodies, creating a beautiful, ambient atmosphere. The short solo of “Back Inside” is probably the best one of the album, matching the chorus melody; simplistic yet really powerful.
Unfortunately the vocals were a little bit of a letdown. Even though they get better with each song, during the first three songs the vocals are just off. Rob’s voice is okay for a grunge band, but outside of the grunge genre there is serious work that needs to be done. Some of the singing melodies are pretty demanding and a more trained singer could have nailed the songs noticeably better. Overall, the vocals’ quality is not hideous, but they definitely create a huge contrast with the quality of the music.
All in all, STATIC TENSION and especially progressive grunge is not one the things I choose to listen to. However, the band did a great job and I wasn’t at all disappointed by the final outcome. I can even say that some of the songs and melodies stuck in my head throughout the day. There is a lot of potential in this band and I really hope to see more progressive grunge bands in the future.