A quick look at Pittsburgh today would reveal nothing of tension. That is, to all observant parties, its character is pretty well-defined. To the inertial outsider, Pittsburgh stands as a classicist model of blue-collar efficiency, as reliable a vision as its fuel-driven benefactor evokes (until, of course, it isn’t). To the entrenched insider, however, Pittsburgh is rapidly-evolving, prodded by the quick growth of technology sectors, evidenced by the expansion of both Google and robotics research, and modeled by its spry, distracted, and exuberant younger-class. However, with such a distinct contrast, tension is inevitable. This not only has created an underlying identity crisis, but has resulted in gentrification and complicated, though polite, generational dynamics.
It is in this context that Good Night, States resides. On their most recent EP (appropriately titled In the Impossible Tension), strain abounds. Antiquainted organs clash with modern drum machines. Dissonant vocals warn of happy times. An opening guitar riff quickly attempts to rush ahead as its surrounding band tries mightily to hold it back.
Thus, it is my contribution (for now) to the “Where You’re From” thread. An outsider might view Pittsburgh through Donnie Iris’s “King Cool” glasses. City-dwellers may relate through Wiz Khalifa or Girl Talk’s turntables. However, in uncertain times, a band as prone to haunting melodies as it is to Wilco-inspired freakouts seems to best exemplify just what it is that Pittsburgh may, or may not, stand for.