Even though the Heavenly States might rightfully be lumped together with sundry Pavement disciples, their ragged, high-volume rock songs reference elements from college radio staples like the Replacements, Sonic Youth and the Meat Puppets. The band formed in Oakland, Calif., in 2002 when guitar player and songwriter Ted Nesseth met up with siblings Jeremy and Genevieve Gagon, who joined him on drums and violin, respectively. Nesseth's hot-headed political rock songs won loads of local acclaim, the States released a self-titled debut on Future Farmer in 2003. The record's follow up, Black Comet, arrived in 2005. That same year the Heavenly States became the first American rock band to tour in Libya in a quarter of a century.