The Golden Republic – S/T

When I got this CD in the mail, I was thrown off a bit when I found out The Golden Republic was from Kansas City, my hometown, and I had never heard of the band. Logic tells me that if a band from your hometown gets signed to Astralwerks, you know who these folks are. As it turns out, they used to be called The People and I’ve seen them probably 25 times, but this material is a little more solid than I remember from the band in the past.

On their self-titled debut full length, the folks in The Golden Republic craft some pretty decent indie/college rock songs with enough varied influence to keep things interesting. You can hear everything from 90s power-pop to 70s rock to Elvis Costello to 80s rock a la Bowie.

For the most part, they keep things straight forward with no frills or gimmicks, just quality rock songs. Yeah, there are a lot of different influences and song approaches, but they all equate to rock. Ben Grimes’ voclas are nice and relaxed and sound great with the multitude of influences at play. They also use multipart harmonies here and there that add a nice touch to the songs.

“Robots” and “NYC” really show off that Bowie influence I mentioned earlier, and although I don’t like Bowie much, I can get into these songs. They have these nice synth leads that aren’t too over the top, they just lead the songs into their respective directions. “Things We Do” is the only truly weak track because it is a slower ballad-type song that really detracts from the energy of the album.

Overall, the album is full of a lot of pretty good rock songs, but nothing ever really grabs me by the balls and makes me want more. Throughout the record I found myself nodding or humming a long several times, but as an album, the flow gets a little bit disjointed, and before the album’s end I was itching to change CDs.