These ain't the last days at all

Following the lukewarm reception to their newest record (not least from this site), comes the as-yet unconfirmed announcement that Hope of the States could be heading to splitsville following this weekend's Carling Weekender shows. Sure, it doesn't say "The band is breaking up", but for them to not play live anymore, it can't be a good sign, can it?

I would be really sad to see them go. I stand by the fact the newest record, 'Left', sounds unambitious and kind-of-like a better Embrace. Outside of some soaring choruses, I found little to fall in love with. And this is all the more frustrating because when they first came out, they had so much promise to them, which they delivered upon with 'The Lost Riots'. I can't articulate very well how much that record means to me, but this review from the NME puts it close. Suffice to say that 'Enemies/Friends' will always be one of my favourite songs.

If the rumour is indeed true, then shit, let's go out on a bang. Today's song is their usual set-closer 'Static in the Cities', a song so good that they never bothered to officially record it. This is the demo version of the track, and the band realised that they'd never be able to improve on it. This song kinda captures everything that I love about HOTS. From humble beginnings to the Apocalypse over about eight minutes, I always thought it'd make a better album finale than '1776', but maybe that's just me. Enjoy!

[download Hope of the States - Static in the Cities (demo)]

(go to thehalfwayhome for lots of bootlegs and rarities)

[UPDATE: Steve Lamacq wrote a guest entry at the blog saying:

"It is with a heavy heart that I sit here, having just witnessed the last Hope Of The States gig. Watching the as ever, charismatic Sam wandering off stage at the end was one of the most poignant sights I've seen this year. But then Reading, for the most part, hasn't been the place for massive pop landscapes, the like of which HOTS specialised in."

And he would know. Balls.]


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