Hope Of The States The Lost Riots

Despite the giddiness that can accompany the questions of "Who do they sound like?,” there can also be some serious head-scratching and in that sense, Hope of the States tend to be a paradox, as they can be easily encompassed: Coldplay meets GY!BE. Yet, due to the originality of such a combination, they sound unlike anything else out there right now. At their best and most beguiling, "Black Dollar Bills” soothes with its po’faced balladry at the beginning and then kicks into high gear with taut, perfectly echoed guitars and a high-pitched violin, all which come together to enhance the emotions introduced at the beginning. "George Washington” starts a little bit country and then kicks into yet another guitar breakdown, but the juxtaposition works and the originality refreshes. All is not gush-worthy though, as the Coldplay factor raises its garish head with the cringing "Don’t Go to Pieces,” where vocalist Sam Herlihy’s thin, whiny voice can’t hold the bare-bones song up. Faring much better in the "no-art-rock-breakdown” category are "Enemies/Friends” and despite the corny chorus, the derivative, yet energetically noisy "The Red, the White, the Black, the Blue.” If only all bands had the talent to go from complex sound overlaps to simple sing-alongs, the world would be a much more interesting listen, but for now there’s Hope of the States in their paradoxical glory, thankfully confusing the hell out of everyone in their path. (Sony)