Album Review: The Last Republic – Parade

By on Monday, 13th December 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Forget about the nightly news. If there’s one band out there who could give the low-down on global issue then it’s the Last Republic. That’s right, a five-piece band hailing from Swansea, Wales, aren’t only aware of their surroundings, but they know how to address the topics of the day in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion.

Government, war, drugs and society as a whole are just some of the matters of the heart cemented soundly into the band’s recently released album, ‘Parade’. Fortunately, the 10-track LP is easier to listen to than the 5:30 evening news, and although there are bouts of darkness sprinkled throughout, this album also a hidden optimistic on the world at large.

Explosive album opener ‘C.C.T.V.’ introduces first time listeners to a band that that meshes guitar rock with emotive lyrics, and riddled by indie-pop hooks that speak of individuals breaking the chains that bound them or their community. Vocally speaking, fans of Muse will no doubt associate the bellowing falsetto of Jonnie Owen to no other than singer Matt Bellamy.

Listeners will also find a smash of anger and confusion colliding together in a handful of tracks on the LP. ‘Let’s Make Bombs’, for example, is the sort of reactionary tune that will no doubt cause a stadium of angst-ridden students and fans in general go mental to the driving guitar riffs and sweeping chorus, while ‘C’mon Flood The Gates’, musically echoes of fellow Welsh band and legendary Manic Street Preachers, if only showing a tad more swagger in the poptastic department.

Meanwhile, haunting melodies layered with mean guitar licks storm the heart in halfway track ‘When Fools Rush In’, which starts off with an achingly similar to Radiohead then builds and climbs into a euphoric doses of pure guitar noise akin to Rage Against The Machine.

Ironically, one of the band’s stronger moments numbers is heard in one of its softer moments in album closer ‘Parade’. The soft tinkling of the ivories blends in well with the sincere and fragile vocals displayed by Owen, producing a spine-tingling, tear-inducing effect. Still, that’s just the first half of the song. Pretty soon we’re met with a stirring crescendo of noise from the rest of the band, which isn’t only uplifting but contagious.

Perhaps one of the more admirable aspects of this Welsh quintet is that while they’re quite obvious with their influences, such as the aforementioned bands like Muse and Radiohead, a heartfelt Snow Patrol and powerful U2, is that the band can uniquely shape their own tunes in a way which is both original and fresh sounding.

And the world is catching onto the band as well. Earlier this year, they opened for Bon Jovi at a sold out 02 Arena show. To top it off, they garnered the right to play on the V Festival’s Main stage with Britpop legends Oasis. And if that’ s not enough to grab your attention, then bear in mind that “Parade” was produced by Chris Sheldon who’s worked with the likes of U2, Radiohead and Doves. ‘Parade’ was released at the beginning of November, and the band is currently signed to Monnowtone Records. If this album is anything to go by, then the Last Republic has a very promising career indeed.

8/10

‘Parade’ by the Last Republic is available now.

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