Royal Republic - 'Club Majesty'

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Royal Republic - 'Club Majesty'

I'm still not sure quite what to make of this release, but it's really, really good... I think!

Formed in 2007, Swedish four-piece Royal Republic unleashed their debut album in the band's home country before cranking things up even more with the 2012 follow-up 'Save The Nation'. This garnered enough attention to see them play support slots in the UK, France, Germany and even Australia. After a departure to make a more acoustic-based album called 'Royal Republic And The Nosebreakers' in 2014, the group then released 'Weekend Man' in 2016 where the title-track was used in the soundtrack for the video game 'Dirt 4'.

'Club Majesty' is the band's latest effort and my first taste of their work, and frankly I had no idea what to make of what I was hearing. That's not a negative by the way, it was just unlike anything I could think of. The bouncy opener 'Fireman And Dancer' had a hint of fellow Swedes The Electric Boys in there, but it also has a backing vocal arrangement that made me think of eighties Popsters Heaven 17... and then they throw in a saxophone solo to boot – and that's just the first song!

'Can't Fight The Disco' also has a touch of Conny Bloom and his Electric Boys about the verse, the madcap 'Boomerang' is like Madness meets Dead Or Alive and 'Under Cover' bobbles along on a booming bass line and Disco beat. The curveballs just keep coming with the heavy grind of 'Like A Lover', whereas 'Blunt Force Trauma' employs Funk guitars, Electronica and horns. 'Fortune Favours' is an expletive-ridden groove-based cut, 'Flower Power Madness' is a sort of Jamiroquai meets Scissor Sisters on steroids effort and the synth-based repetition of 'Stop Movin'' is maddeningly infectious. 'Anna Leigh' employs a pure eighties drum sound and arrangement, while the breakneck 'Bulldog' hurtles proceedings to an end.

This combination of Adam Grahn's quirky lead vocals, a complete mishmash of musical styles, bonkers arrangements, thumping bass, funky guitars and a frankly unique sound made this an album I kept coming back to. I'm still not sure quite what to make of this release, but it's really, really good... I think!

James Gaden

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