Republic Of Loose – This Is The Tomb Of The Juice

Album Review by Mark Bayross

Funny how your mood can change the way your hear music, isn’t it? The first time I heard this, on a six-track sampler, I hated it with a passion. Maybe the six tracks they chose just weren’t the right ones, in which case the boys in Marketing need to call a “strategy meeting” PDQ. Now that I’ve heard the full album, the experience is considerably improved.

Republic Of Loose are a bunch of Irishmen indulging their fantasies of playing the kind of funk that used to soundtrack the mushy bits of big-haired 70s TV cop shows. Maybe the puerile expletive-ridden and incomprehensible press release got my back up (those crazy Marketing guys again!), or maybe it was titles like (first single) GIRL I’M GONNA FUCK YOU UP, but this whole thing seemed like the musical equivalent of putting on flares and a comedy afro and thinking you’re funny.

The album negotiates a fine line between mornful blues (SLOW DOWN), frazzled gospel (SOMETHING IN THE WATER), irritating acid jazz (TELL MORE LIES), and just plain irritating (SWEET CODA OF MERCY). It loses steam towards the end, but I guess, like me, it depends on the mood you’re in.

Neither as mysteriously malevolent as Alabama 3 or as fun as Happy Mondays or Sly And The Family Stone, all potential reference points, it’s still worth a spin if you like some funk and soul on your deck. The self-deprecating sense of humour (see the two-minute RANT) certainly helps.

3 stars

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