A much-delayed review due to the time of year it arrived (right in the run-up to exams so Ross, who would have reviewed it, was buried in college work and I, as a schoolteacher, was neck-deep in revision with my pupils). We’re making amends by harking back to the end of May and pretending that the summer hasn’t happened yet. Which means you can still look forward to this wonderfully un-serious album from Royal Republic.
Ross reckons they sound like Eagles of Death Metal on speed. I reckon there’s a lot of Electric Six in their sound. Either way, they’re the right kind of “off the wall” and have dropped a collection of songs which are, simply, fun. And funky. Opener “Fireman & Dancer” just rips things up, sounding like it escaped from the seventies. If the band don’t have huge curly hair and matching porn star moustaches then I’m disappointed. Hell, there’s even a saxophone on there.
This just blurs into “Can’t Fight The Disco” with wailing guitar breaks and that annoyingly catchy bass rhythm. If anything, the tempo increases for “Boomerang” while “Under Cover” just belts along.
And then we hit “Like a Lover”. This is probably the closest that Royal Republic will ever get to the blues. Slow, sleazy and heavy, it would be out of place if the band wasn’t so damn eclectic. “Normal” service (if Royal Republic have any concept of normality) is resumed with “Blunt Force Trauma” which is about as disco a track as you can legally release in 2019. It also has the most effective surround sound I’ve ever heard in a music track, with the spoken word towards the tail end seeming to come from behind me… and I’m only using a pair of dinky speakers placed right in front of me at my PC.
“Fortune Favors” is one you should be playing in front of your granny, and it’s the only song in recent memory to feature the word “twat”. All the more unusual coming from a Swedish band. What next? A song on their next album using the word “bollocks”? I commend their knowledge of English swearies.
“Flower Power Madness” and “Stop Moving” will have you bopping like a loon, while “Anna Leigh” stands out like a bit of a sore thumb. It’s more of an 80s chart hit than a disco-rock number [I like to think of it as the song Hall & Oates never got around to recording – Ross]. Not a bad thing, it just feels out of place amongst the other songs [Frankly, I think it’s genius – Ross]. Closer “Bulldog” is as mental as anything preceding it with its punk simplicity and 2 1/2 minute running time.
In short, sorry for missing this album five months ago. Hopefully this delayed review makes up for it, and it’s just in time for this next bit of news…
They’re on tour in October. Dates are as follows:
- 18/10 UK NORWICH – WATERFRONT
- 19/10 UK NOTTINGHAM – ROCK CITY
- 20/10 UK GLASGOW – GARAGE
- 22/10 UK NEWCASTLE – UNIVERSITY
- 23/10 UK HULL – WELLY
- 24/10 UK LEEDS – BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
- 26/10 UK MANCHESTER – ACADEMY 2
- 27/10 UK BIRMINGHAM – O2 ACADEMY 2
- 28/10 UK BRISTOL – TRINITY
- 30/10 UK SOUTHAMPTON – ENGINE ROOMS
- 31/10 UK LONDON – ELECTRIC BALLROOM