One can’t hide the fact that Royal Republic consists of four skilled sons of a bitches, pardon my French…
With the new Nosebreakers EP, they have proven their greatness once again.
When the EP first landed on my doorstep, I honestly was somewhat reluctant. Nowadays you get to see so many (punk) bands go acoustic and – quite frankly – I’d already gotten a bit bored of that.
And believe you me: that’s a hard thing to say for a hardcore RR fan like me.
Giving it a first spin, I instantly changed my mind. Damn, there they went and did it again. Not only did I never get bored of the acousticness, but I was baffled by the way they had managed to reinvent both themselves and their music.
I was most intrigued by the fact that The Royal had decided to give the entire EP a Wild West coating.
Easily shifting back in time, imagining to be chewing some tobacco in the local saloon, I caught myself wondering how on earth they had gotten the idea of doing a cowboy version of really rockin’ songs like Save The Nation, Full Steam Spacemachine, and – most strikingly – This Means War.
Well, whatever led them to it, they pulled it off.
Listening to the first song on the EP, Save The Nation, you might feel like they’ve done nothing new… But that’s not true. I advise you to give it a while and really listen to the ‘country’ sounds and quirky guitar techniques used.
Let Your Hair Down is the second remake on the EP. Even more so than with Save The Nation, you feel the Wild West calling for you. The original version rocks, this version makes me even happier. You’ll immediately know what I mean when I say you’ll feel like you’re the star in a Clint Eastwood film. A fun fact: the backing vocals really steal the show in this one! High notes in the verses and really low ones in the chorus make for a very varied and fun song.
The third track, I Must Be Out Of My Mind, partly sounds quite similar to its original counterpart, yet again… Listen to those crazy guitar riffs – or are they fiddle riffs?
I know they told me in an interview they didn’t want to be regarded a ‘comedy band’, as Adam put it, but when you end a song the way Royal Republic ends I Must Be Out Of My Mind… Yeah, well… Maybe you should listen for yourselves… J
In Cry Baby Cry, Adam Grahn shows the world what an amazing singing voice he actually has. Slowing the song down, makes the vocals come out great. It also makes the song and lyrics much more vulnerable and you see them in a totally different light. Especially listen to the multi-vocalic part at about two and a half minutes into the song. Really gives you shivers, doesn’t it? And I mean that in a very positive way, if anyone should’ve doubted that…
Anyone who’s ever seen a Royal Republic show cannot have missed this next song. The band has, namely, played this version of Addicted many times before. Could this have been the trigger for coming up with the idea of making the EP? I’ve always wondered about how both odd and brilliant it is that all four band members have the ability to sing, in four different voices, that is!
Halfway through listening to Full Steam Spacemachine, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Finally I got what the clue was that Hannes and Adam had given me during our interview in August. When they told me I had to go and check out Wu-Tang Clan at that same festival to get a clue, I told them I got a little scared… As it turns out, I’m not really sure whether I was right to get scared or not! Indeed, when you thought you’d heard everything there is to be heard from RR, you were wrong: a kickass gangsta rap bursts out of The Royal’s mouths before going back into the well-known chorus. Man, oh, man…
Tommy Gun provides the catchy rhythm that is perfect to turn into a wild west song. Best thing about this version of the song, according to me, are the backing vocals in the chorus. However, if you ask me, this time the original version beats the acoustic one by far… I don’t know, maybe I’m prejudiced seeing that Tommy Gun in its original coating is one of my absolute Royal Republic favorites.
I bet no one can deny the image of drunken cowboys in the saloon coming across your mind, listening to this version of Molotov. Nosebreakers, you say? Yes, well… I can hear some noses being broken here.
Among others, This Means War is one of the big surprises on the EP. I mean, the link between the original song and its acoustic version is practically non-existing. Whereas the original song is – without having the lyrics in front of you – as good as impossible to sing along to because of its roughness, the acoustic song makes you drift away. It’s the perfect song to sing or to listen to while sitting next to a campfire with all of your friends. I guess, you’d have to listen to it yourselves to know what I mean.
And that is exactly what I advise everyone to do: go and buy this reinvention of acoustic music!
These guys, as proven above, certainly live up to their name: they are and (hopefully) always will be The Royal.
Amen to that ;)!