Review: Nation Of The State – How To Hijack A HearseTweet
On the blurb on their Facebook page, Nation of the State describe themselves as a band whose music sways from “guitar-driven stadium anthems, through to slow-burn passionate pieces.” In reviewing their debut album, this is something which equally helps and hinders the band. It’s difficult to pigeon-hole the music into one distinctive genre, but instead of this being something which is admirable, it leads to an album which isn’t too cohesive, and takes away from some top quality songs.
Opener ‘Smiley Face’ is the band at its best, showcasing vocalist Botham Valentino’s ability to hit impressive high notes along a grinding guitar riff which will stick in your head long after you have listened to it. ‘Marie’ is an emo-tinged indie track which is catchy enough that it could be a staple on Irish radio, and the title track ‘How to Hijack a Hearse’ has shades of ‘Eire Calling’ by The Revs, with some extra doom thrown in to give it an imposing sound.
‘Red Moon’ is Snow Patrol with extra cheese on the side. It slows the album down, extinguishing the tempo which has built up and fails to deliver a memorable chorus. It’s the song you skip when listening through an album you really like. ‘Chagrin’ is trying to balance the harder songs with softer ballads which ultimately fails. The exact opposite can be said for album closer ‘Home’, which shows the band can find that delicate balance between loud and quiet on the album, once the song has enough quality about it to stand out beyond the clichéd tracks. ‘Falling (Don’t Rescue Me)’ is another which really impresses. Rising and rising until it explodes into the chorus, it sounds like a live favourite already.
‘How to Hijack a Hearse’ as a whole collection of songs shows a band who are trying to fuse the heavier guitar-laden tracks alongside the softer piano ballads which ultimately bring the album down in terms of its quality. They detract from what is a competent first showing from a band that has displayed enough potential here to become a top Irish act for the future. Impressive and perplexing at the same time, this album is hopefully just the beginning for a band that has shown promise with their first offering.
To download the album for free visit Soundcloud