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'Save The Nation'
(Roadrunner Records)

Phil Kane

phil kane

royal republic save the nation

As soon as you slap this little beasty on the decks you run straight into Greenday. No bad thing but it gives the impression that you are going to get another righteous punk album.

Mercifully the impression is wrong, proving the album is an exception to the thirty second rule. Oh, it has its punky moments but not quite in the way you might expect with its pop nous and garage upbringing and the lead guitar sound is raw as fuck; a sound that can trace its roots right back to the formative Telecaster boogie years of the late sixties.

There is a sort of shambolic sixties groove that seems to be the new resurrection darling subject for young bands that want to be taken seriously. It is alt in a spiky cool-to-be-seen-with kind of way.

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They have been described as a mix of (a small part...) Danko Jones and (a large part...) The Hives. Chuck in a wacked out sense of humour (the piss taking that is the metalcore baiting 'This Means War' for instance) and you've got something that is almost unique.

There are killer tracks too. There's the quirky 'Everbody Wants To Be An Astronaut', the brash 'Make Love Not War (If You Have To Make War Make Sure To Make Time To Make Love In Between)' and the Sham 69 gang choruses of 'Punch Drunk Love'. It's all very whacky.

The album has the restless energy of the easily bored. It constantly threatens to fly off out into the left field but the band manages to keep it in play and thus maintaining a remorseless groove that has gravity all of its own. It's busy, manic almost, and has a grin a mile wide.

More Jet than Greenday, 'Save The Nation' may prove a little too poppy for some, despite its jagged arsed garage bent and others may not appreciate the sixties essence. That's alright though because 'Save The Nation' is a splendid slab of insistent Nordic pop punk that demands that you to shake that thing as it jitters effortlessly to its own jokes.

Yet, despite the punk pretentions the corporate apparatus looms not too far away. If you get the deluxe edition you'll find 'Vicious' and 'I Don't Wanna Go Out' (X cover) as extra tracks. That's an extra 3:45. Wow, that's real bang for yer bucks!




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