Mine is Busted. It’s meant to be a guilty pleasure, but whatever I feel guilty about in this world, thinking the first two Busted albums are ace isn’t one of them.
Every Friday at work we do the “dress down” thing. I’ll turn up in a Hold Steady t-shirt one week, a Quo T-shirt the next, then a Counting Crows one or something, always to be told: thought you liked that heavy metal shit?” by a work colleague who hasn’t got a clue. Apparently, if you like metal, you aren’t allowed not to be metal. That’s the conventional wisdom isn’t it?
Except, that’s shit. And what’s more, Royal Republic know its shit.
The clue is in the name here: Club Majesty.
Frankly, if this was anymore danceable then it’d be about 1994 and I’d be in Bobby Browns in Birmingham where one of our mates worked, pretending we could pull girls (we couldn’t – to be honest, we never even tried to, in honesty, we just sat there saying ‘that one there is smiling at us’ before we left to go home without talking to anyone).
The 11 songs here are about as action packed as you can get. Turbocharged, dressed up, revved up and ready to get laid. This isn’t going to be saying “I reckon I could have had a chance there” on the way home. No sir, this is having the fun we never did.
“Fireman And Dancer” passes by in a blur, there’s a saxophone solo, and it is sweet. But then, well, there’s “Can’t Fight the Disco” and if ever you wanted to understand what RR do, Adam Grahn explains it in the first verse: “No more rock n roll,” he sings. “Give me glitter for a change. Give me neon lights, boogie nights, cos I am ready for a change” and that, to be honest, is the key to this.
Yes, the thing rocks, Hannes Irengård’s guitar lines are right there throughout, but this is funky, its fun and its out and loud and proud. “Boomerang” is horny – and not just because its drenched in horns either – but its catchy as an STI too, “Under Cover” doesn’t even hide the fact it really likes Electric 6 and even when it does do a crunch of the reasonably heavy variety, like “Like A Lover” then “….Majesty” is more bothered about escaping the humdrum. “Feeling shitty, in the city, so I took her away,” is the first line, and its this type of departure from the normal life that Royal Republic are the kings of.
“Blunt Force Trauma” is the absolute jewel in this crown, though. Equal parts Prince, Chuck Berry and any pop song from the 1980s, it actually deals with a dysfunctional relationship, but where most would mope, not here.
“Fortune Favours” actually suggests that “rock n roll can kiss my motherfucking ass”, which it rather wonderfully rhymes with “drop the bass, you fucking twat” – which any way you look at it is a genius way to use language.
As if to prove that I am pretty much way off my usual comfort zone, then “Flower Power” is probably the only song I’ll ever review on this site that says: “somebody call the doctor cos this beat is fucking sick” – and it is too.
“Stop Movin’” basically sounds like a disco song with Johnny B. Goode’s guitar solo. “Anna Leigh” is gloriously simplistic, and has the same type vibe as label mates Night Flight Orchestra, while the chorus is pure Bee Gees.
They actually save their most rock n roll effort for last. If you liked their early stuff like “Tommy Gun” then you’ll love this. And, if you can’t love a song that has its first line as: “hey Mr. Bulldog, why so sad? Cos you take a dump and I pick it up in a bag” then you need to rethink your life.
I can remember the furore in the late 1990s when Kerrang first covered The Prodigy in its pages. Those of us that just liked music bought the record and let everyone else row about whether it was “heavy” or not. It’d be nice to think the world had moved on since and we’d got away from such snobbery. However, Royal Republic will, no doubt, get some shit in some quarters for a record like this. They won’t care and in an odd way, “Club Majesty” may be the most authentic Royal Republic album yet.
When I saw RR on tour to support their last album “Weekend Man”, Grahn reckoned being a weekend man was a state of mind. Here they’ve proved it, because every one of them sounds like the best Saturday night you never had.