This is a review of "Middle Of The Night" recorded by Capital State. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2002.
Capital State are making a lot of the running on the Leeds scene these days. High profile gigs, a growing following and this smart new 3 track CD commits them to the West Yorkshire Premiership, with a special award for pleasing the crowd.
The CD sound is eclectic and multilayered. Disco, rock, house, hip hop, hispanic funk, jazz and britpop are all there, churning in the mix like jelly and custard with four kinds of fruit in one great trifle. It's a popular recipe. My own favourite is track 3: "All that matters to me". It includes a sly Hendrixy romp through some guitar/bass/drums call and response solo work. The vocals and scratching are a bit dull. But when the guitar and bass cut loose and some space opens up in the mix it gets interesting.
The mix is a problem. Capital State are a big family and there is a push to get everyone in on as much as possible. The result is some loss of definition and a muddiness in the rhythm. My spies tell me that their Rocket gig for Futuresound was much tighter.
The CD opens with Middle of the Night: minor chords with a singer off the street, then an mc and a whole burst through Grace Jones, Santana and all sorts.
A sampled voice on "Eighth Wonder" promises the as yet unrecognised eighth amazing thing on the planet. Everyone's playing their socks and shoes off but the playing sometimes gets in the way of the music. It's definitely OK and when you've enjoyed the live sound you will want to buy this. But their studio work isn't stomping on heads just yet.