Children of the State are exceedingly good at capturing a moment in time. Big Sur was their last release, a west coast hallucinogenic ditty. Now, they’ve moved past the love trip and onto their Harley Davidsons, with dirty, sexy survival at the forefront of new single Hot Money.
It’s hard not to be taken in lead singer John McCullagh’s Sheffield drawl, deep and confident over rich production. Ironically, the song is about the sleazy nature of hyper capitalism – so easily are we drawn in, but McCullagh is quick to promise “I don’t need your strange love – I want hot money”. Like a set piece from a disaster movie, a German speech on “cash as the science of the entire world” plays over the bridge, and the song descends into fuzzy rock chaos. Capitalism might be as seductive as McCullagh’s voice, but it sure does end in disaster.
Apocalyptic retro rock is one way they’ve talked about themselves – another is peyote punk, ‘peyote’ being a hallucinogenic South American cactus. They do well to take you on a trip: every song is a different moment captured, taking authenticity into consideration. As part of their forthcoming EP, worked on with The Coral’s Ian Skelly, they ran every track through an old broken tape machine. The tremolo effect was for ‘paranoia and unease’, and serves as a polar opposite to the summer optimism of Big Sur.
Maintaining their reputation as one of England’s most experimental rising stars, Children of the State bring another layer to their sound on this latest release. Watch out for the full EP Tragic Carpet and the Magical Wasp Gang from Notre Dame from the Sheffield 5-piece soon.