Hey, bartender! I’ll have a vodka punk up with a splash of rock and a twist of blues, please. What’s that, you say? You’ve never heard of that one? Ah, well it’s called The Golden Republic, and it’s perfect for this debut full-length self-titled album from a four-piece in Kansas City, MO.
Tracks like “You Almost Have It” have hints of Bowie and punk and are palatable because there is such a balanced mixture of genres; not one dominates over the other which is lucky for these guys, because genre overkill can so easily lead to earbleeding piles of tripe that are sometimes mistaken for songs. “She’s So Cold” has a bluesy feel that when mixed with the relaxed vocals by Ben Grimes produce a sound that has the cohesion of a classic ‘70s rock band.
The album takes a turn for the worse with “Rows of People,” which is mostly reminiscent of Rob Thomas and the atrocity that is Matchbox 20. Fortunately, this abomination is remedied with “Robots,” which has Cake-like appeal and a strong, foot tapping beat. The award for best lyric goes to the anti-ballad “Not My Kind,” a sped-up indie-punk track with the line “I wrote you a song not ‘cause I love you/ I wrote it ‘cause I hate you/ I hate you/ I do.” Ouch! I’d hate to be the target of that little ditty!
This album is sort of like a drink that you like but don’t love. It’s not your favorite pick of the litter, but given the strong balance of influences and solid performance, you might find yourself warming up to it. Bartender! I’ll have another!