This month’s State vs… night found us pitted against our good friends at Glider. First up – and representing State – were Kildare-based indie-folk ensemble, Awake Young Soldiers. They’re no strangers to the stage, having played Oxegen and The Festival of World Cultures in recent months. Though the seven-strong band were a mite crowded they played shanties and future folk-pop anthems with stylish precision and confidence. ‘Captain Captain’ and ‘The River Meets The Sea’ could easily sit alongside the best of Mumford & Sons or Noah & The Whale. You’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more from these guys.
In March of this year The Holy Roman Army released the delightful covers EP, Desecrations, free from their Bandcamp page. On record the brother and sister duo (consisting of Chris and Laura Coffey ) make dreamy tripped-out glitchy shoegaze – sweet vocals and clever arrangements, whereas live Laura’s vocals remain sweet and the live drums add much to the mix. There were many moments of beauty, with a notable addition of trumpet to the live set and as always their version of Pavement’s ‘Here’ is pop genius.
Headliners Cap Pas Cap have come a long way since they first made noise on the Dublin music scene. Having lost a singing member since the release of ‘We Are Men’, the broad yelping singing style of old has been replaced by Gráinne Donohue’s vocals which are perhaps more detached and easier on the ear. The band have dropped the cowbell from the last time State witnessed them (a couple of years admittedly) and forged ahead with urgent, tight arrangements which is equally indebted to no-wave, post-punk, pop and experimental music. The songs from forthcoming album Haunted Light were insistent, focused, at times a little too similar but always striving forward. There are moments where the the band are reminiscent of Ladytron’s synth-heavy cool nonchalance and others where they recall the noise rock of HEALTH but overall, they deliver a sound which has grown into their own.
The next bout takes place on November 19th in The Mercantile – State vs AU. Representing State on the night will be Grand Pocket Orchestra, with The Lowly Knights fighting AU’s corner. Also appearing on the night will be Cloud Castle Lake.
Photos by Kieran Frost