Children of the State – ‘Tragic Carpet & the Magical Wasp Gang from Notre-Dame’ | EP Review

Children of the State deliver a new sound on their brand new EP – and we love it

Despite being active for only two years (since 2018) Children of the State are on the rise, with their first feature on Radio One in April 2020 and also having supported numerous bands such as The Mysterines. Similarly, they have previously played festivals such as Y Not and Tramlines – which they were set to perform again in 2020 (with an upgrade to Tramlines Main Stage) – a testament to their hard work. 

Over a year after their first EP, they released second EP titled Tragic Carpet and Magical Wasp Gang from Notre-Dame, a complex and unusual title automatically making their EP instantly recognisable and unique. The 4 track EP features a variety of tracks which all differ from one another while cleverly keeping Children of the State’s unique retro feel – partly down to having the first few lines of each song rhyming with one another, immediately engaging the audience and perfect to singalong to. 

Opening with ‘Hot Money,’ produced by The Coral’s drummer Ian Skelly, begins with a raw and energetic guitar introduction which immediately has you dancing along. Children of the State’s incorporation of use of a saxophone (amongst other additional instruments) just after the chorus contributes to their unique sound through it being unexpected. However, the inclusion of the saxophone is effective when compiled with the fuzzy guitar contributing to their edgy and retro sound. The addition of spoken words for a few lines towards the end between the repeated choruses acts as a bridge. The five piece band’s decision to do this instead of an expected guitar solo further emphasises the unique nature of Children of the State’s music. 

Secondly, a slightly calmer, gentler song follows – ‘A Clear Day You Can See Forever‘. The track gives off major Tom Grennan (in the introduction) and Arctic Monkeys vibes where it features drums juxtaposing to the verses by building tension creating a rowdy atmosphere. The song concludes with a guitar solo which sounds slightly distorted creating an image of mystery, uncertainty and the unknown which makes a direct connection to the title representing exactly what you wouldn’t be able to see on a clear day.

Within ‘Baby, Can You Dig Your Man‘, the vocal part gives Liam Gallagher vibes where a raw, rowdy and carefree attitude is transmitted, further emphasised with the inclusion of an instrumental solo midway – similar to numerous Oasis and Liam Gallagher songs. Children’s of the State’s writing of the accompaniment to the vocals in the chorus where the short staccato instrumentals help to build the tension in preparation for the next verse- creating the perfect atmosphere to prepare for a mosh pit. 

children of the state

Closing the EP is the track ‘Give up the Ghost‘ is another much calmer track where the “ooh-ing” at the start and in the chorus could be representative of a ghost. Later, there is reference to “Lucifer” within the lyrics. One definition for “Lucifer” is the Latin translation to ‘light-bringer’ (opposed to the well-known definition being the devil) which again has strong connotations to ghosts – who we sometimes imagine to glow in the dark. Children of the State are successful in creating a calmer track while keeping their 80s, 90s and raw retro sound, making it a perfect encore song at a concert for people to sway and singalong to. 

The overall structure of the EP is a success where the mood and energy of each song is unique and contrasts to the previous. However, with that being said even some of Children of the State’s calmest songs are still irresistible to dance along to, making them a must see band to look out for, even more so if you’re interested in artists with a groovy, retro and unique sound.

Words by Lily Croft

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