Baltimore-based band STMNTS released their debut EP Tendencies on September 22nd, following the release of their first two singles "Handpainted" and "I Don't Even Want to Be Around Anymore." The pop-punk band out of Maryland formed in 2022 and is composed of vocalist Liam King, rhythm guitarist Jamie Black, lead guitarist Drew Chiodo, bassist Josh Pelc, and drummer Shawn Smyth. The band originally started out as the project "Crosswinds," which had some different lineups over the years, including a different singer. So, when the other band members connected with Liam, they decided to start fresh with "STMNTS." They draw inspiration from bands like Four Year Strong, The Wonder Years, Bayside, and Like Pacific.
The EP is perfectly described by the title track that talks about the differing ways that we respond as humans. The debut project contains a wide variety of songs, lyrically and musically, that almost any listener can relate to, ranging from a ballad in "Meantime" to a post-hardcore rager in "Past Tense." "Tendencies" also includes two features. Patrick Williams from House & Home is the first feature in "Handpainted." Liam tells us that he knew immediately that he wanted to collaborate with Patrick on something, but they weren't originally intending for anyone to feature on "Handpainted," but when Liam and Pat sat down to work together, they realized that the part that Liam had already demoed fit perfectly for the House & Home singer. The second feature is Jay Pepito from Shai Hulud. Drew, the STMNTS guitarists, showed the band some of Jay's work in his band Shai Hulud along with work he's done with END. After hearing the vocal technique that Jay could bring to the table, the band decided that it was a no brainer to bring him on to brutalize the bridge of "Past Tense."
The EP kicks off with instant nostalgia of early 2000s emo in "I Don't Even Want to Be Around Anymore," which was released in anticipation of the EP.
Next up is "Tendencies," the EP's namesake, that provides a teenage angst that would be the perfect track to play over the credits of a coming of age movie. Liam shares with us that when the band went in to record the track, it was his least favorite track, but by the time they had finished it, it became his favorite track.
The heartfelt ballad "Meantime" follows bringing us to tears with its beautiful acoustic sound. The band leaves us "hanging on" to their punk sound in the bridge of the song that adds to its emotion. Liam says that he pushed to include this song on the EP because he doesn't like to limit himself to writing one specific type of song. He wrote the bones to the song early in the writing process for the project, but he brought it to the table for the band to consider including later on. The song went through several different versions before STMNTS landed on the slow-building ballad into full band, intense bridge, and chorus.
The other single released preceding the EP, "Handpainted," gives listeners a taste of the band's punk sound that they incorporate in their music. The song is a pure reflection of the band's fun personality that can be played at full volume in the car with the windows down on Main Street. Liam says, "I don't care that it's about to be fall. Go roll down the windows and scream that song!"
The EP closes out with a perfect adrenaline rush in what is, no doubt, a post-hardcore anthem in "Past Tense." STMNTS shares that they created this song out of a jam session, and then eventually landed on a chorus that they were interested in using. After setting the chorus, Liam came in with lyrics for the chorus, which then gave the band the idea to make the song fast and intense.
STMNTS hopes that even though their music isn't intentionally written with the intention of connecting with people, everyone can listen to the music and pull their own thoughts and experiences from a song for themselves. Liam shares that his writing process with lyrics tend to start with a single word or phrase, and then he'll analyze what the word or phrase means to him and build from it. He says, "Typically, I write the bare bones of a song’s lyrics all at once, because if I try to go back and build on it when I’m in a different headspace it’s much harder to make it feel connected thematically. Then I come back and make edits on the song as a whole as opposed to just pieces of one." Tendencies encompasses the theme of all of the different ways that we tend to think and behave and how we have to deal with what comes along with that, for better or for worse. Liam says, "Each song kind of touches on a different way that my behaviors impact myself and the people around me." The band hopes that listeners will give their band a chance and enjoy the music they're putting out into the world with their first project.