Hope Of The States - Blood Meridian EP

Alex Worsnip 03/04/2006

Rating: 3/5

While gaining good reviews at the time, Hope of the States' debut 'The Lost Riots' failed to create the storm that it could have considering the hype surrounding them when they first emerged. In the light of this they've announced that they're ditching the post-rock stylings and coming back leaner, meaner and rockier than ever more. This might disappoint some fans - especially those of us that thought 'The Black Amnesias' was the best track on the album - but 'Blood Meridian' suggests they can do the job pretty well. Though its more conventional than previous fare, there's a directness and urgency to it, and a melodic clarity that is well placed after the occasional sprawl of their previous work. Nevertheless, the chorus is typically gargantuan and epic, adorned with frenetic guitars and strings and recalling to some extent Everything Must Go-era Manics, and the bridging instrumental passages retain much of the fanfare and drama that characterises their work. A more explicitly political line runs through it, not especially subtle but reasonably effective - “emergency, emergency/someone acted honestly/you better string 'em up, tie 'em down, never let the news come out/never let it happen again”. Unfortunately it's let down by the supporting tracks on this EP, especially the whining 'Drinker's On The Dry' - but it bodes well for the album.