REVIEW: ROYAL REPUBLIC – Weekend Man (2016)


Letting your hair down Swedish style. Even party hating MV understands this is proper fun

There are those of us who avoid parties at all costs (not MV you understand…….) and who if they were forced at gunpoint to go to a party would rather stand there looking at our shoes, or playing, I don’t know lets say, Stick Cricket on their iPhone (not that MV has ever done this….ahem…..)

Then there are those who look at life a rather different way. Take Royal Republic.

Specifically take the way they choose to start album number three: “Wait? don’t feel like waiting,” Offers singer Adam Grahn “I don’t feel like waiting, hesitating anymore.” Let’s face facts, these aren’t the type of blokes to wait years to ask the girl out (again, not that MV has ever done that) they are here for a good time, not a long time.

Cards firmly not so much on the table as discarded while they race off looking for the next thrill, Royal Republic are off looking for trouble. Of any kind. “Walk!” Is an order and woebetide you if you defy it.

Such is the bluster that these songs – and imagine a cross between primal garage rock, Volbeat’s country air and the Backyard Babies and you are somewhere close enough to be in the ballpark – that even “When I See You Dance With Another” which in other hands would be a pathos filled ballad is the most ebullient hands in the air anthem you can imagine.

There’s hooks, there’s riffs and there’s a soulful shake here, and that’s all before the first chorus of “People Say I’m Over The Top” is over, and throughout the 13 songs here there’s the general feeling that no shits are to be given, tomorrow can wait, let’s have fun. And let’s have it now.

“Kung Fu Loving” (sample line “you’re a roundhouse kick to my heart”) not only has the best title of the year so far, it actually matches up with its swirling organs and the feeling that it would cheerfully disappear with all your possessions given half the chance.

The absolute beauty of this is that it’s the most simple record of 2016. You can sing it, you can hum it, and it’ll stick in your head for weeks. “Uh Huh” knows it’s dumb and doesn’t care, while the downright glory of “Baby” is a joy to behold. And even the closing “American Dream” is about the closest “Weekend Man” gets to regret, it does so over a drum beat including handclaps, so all is still pretty well, really.

The album’s title track contains the following two lines: “I’m not a hippy I just get stoned” and then, at the start of the second verse says this: “passed out in London, woke up in Dubai. And I don’t have an alibi.” That’s all you need to know. They are Royal Republic. And they are the soundtrack to your next party. You don’t need to invite MV. We will stop at home listening to this record instead.

Rating 9/10

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