The Golden Republic seem to be all chunky power chords and swooshing energy on their eponymous debut album. But pitched against the “turn it up and rock” swagger, this is a record with a melancholic core.
A lot of it comes from the lyrics. The “tight lipped young man drinking alone” in ’Rows Of People’, the love/hate (but far more hate) ode ‘Not My Kind’ and the world-weary disillusion of ‘Things We Do’ hardly create a party atmosphere.
But the darker shades are propelled along on a wave of fizzing compression and slabs of guitar in the Supergrass ‘I Should Coco’ era mould. If the songs are supposed to sound bruised and helpless, singer Ben Grimes evidently didn’t bother telling the rest of the band, or the producer (Interpol knob twiddler Peter Katis) for that matter, as they pound away with a stomping rock zeal.
Their only musical demons are a tendency towards some slightly proggy musical twists and the odd Muse like raid into the world of time changes and minor chord dramatics. But held in check, as these impulses are, by the taut urgency of the songs, no one comes to any serious harm.
They do sound like a band still finding their feet, but in the nicest sense, they also sound like a band who will keep getting better.
7Julian Ridgway's Score