State of Shock Overview:
State of Shock hail from Canada, and like fellow Canadian bands Nickelback
and Jet Black Stare
, they traffic in earnest hard rock with accessible melodies and lyrics about the ups and downs of love. However, State of Shock have a more pop-oriented sound than their countrymen, and in contrast to Nickelback this quintet don't display a penchant for strip-club rock. For those who like their rock music to be traditionalist and free of post-grunge
gimmicks, State of Shock might be a group worth seeking out, but only if you avoid their first album.
State of Shock's Origins:
State of Shock got its start at the end of the 1990s, when singer Cameron Melnyk, guitarist Jesse Wainwright and drummer Johnny Philippon started playing together in Vancouver, Canada. Other members shifted in and out, but the three principals remained. In 2003, the band finalized the lineup by adding bassist Alison Toews (the band's sole female member) and guitarist Simon Clow.
'Guilty' of Derivativeness on Debut:
In 2004, State of Shock released Guilty by Association
. The band failed to break out beyond their Canadian fan base, and part of the problem could be traced to Guilty
's by-the-numbers hard rock. Songs such as "Wish I Never Met You" stole the angst of '90s bands like Live
but added very little to the mix. Guilty
suggested that State of Shock had a long way to go creatively if they wanted to survive in the hard rock marketplace.
A Huge Step Up on 'Life, Love & Lies':
State of Shock had better luck with their next album, Life, Love & Lies
. Released in Canada in 2007, Life, Love & Lies
spawned three hit singles in the band's homeland, including the Nickelback-influenced "Money Honey." Cameron Melnyk's vocals were sharper and less woe-is-me angry, and the album's sonic polish ensured that Life
was a major step up from Guilty
's generic rock ramblings. Life
made clear that State of Shock were ready to embrace a slicker sound while still honoring the fundamental building blocks of rock music.
State of Shock Come to America:
Life, Love & Lies
finally received its official U.S. debut through Universal Republic on March 24, 2009. Before then, though, Americans got an early introduction to the band when State of Shock toured with Staind
and Papa Roach
State of Shock Lineup:
Simon Clow - guitar
Cameron Melnyk - vocals
Johnny Philippon - drums
Alison Toews - bass
Jesse Wainwright - guitar
Key State of Shock Songs:
"If I Could" (Purchase/Download
"Money Honey" (Purchase/Download
"Best I Ever Had" (Purchase/Download
"Hearts That Bleed" (Purchase/Download
State of Shock Discography:
Guilty by Association
Life, Love & Lies
State of Shock Quotes:
Cameron Melnyk, explaining how State of Shock write songs.
"We're not shooting for one exact sound. If it's a love song, so be it - a lot of people can relate to that. If it's about money, so be it - people can also relate to that."
Johnny Philippon, on the positive response to Life, Love & Lies.
"We're having a good time and starting to realize that we actually did do something good after being told we hadn't for the last five years."
Alison Toews, who previously played with a punk band before joining State of Shock.
"I've found that a lot of the stuff I learned from being in a punk rock band also applies to being in a rock band. You still have to chase after the things you want and be very proactive and get things for yourself."
State of Shock Trivia:
State of Shock found Alison Toews by placing an ad in a local paper for a female bass player.
Cameron Melnyk took time off from the band at the beginning of the 21st century to go to college.