Often noted by critics and the like to be stuck in the past, Republica showed some real promise outside the usual zone of critique. Born out of a bunch of professionalism experimnetation musically prior to thois project, Republica was essentially a crossover fusion of Rock and EDM and included female vocalist Saffron, Tim Dorney on electronics, and Johnny Male on guitars, amongst countless other contributors. Seemingly, these guys were out to prove that, in the often cynical music business they had a musical place to impress others. In any case, this is their debut album, which is seen to be by far their best release. The album cover has the group in the middle of a red star, seemingly the emblem of Chinese/Vietnamese Communism. Obviously, these guys wanted to be controversial for the main part.
Ready To Go begins with some nicely strummed acoustic guitars, hi-hats, and a sense that something exciting is occurring. Saffron’s vocals enter, and she sounds super tuneful and awesome. Soon enough, this launches straight into a Metal guitar piece with some breakbeats. Sure, this is retro for the time, but it sounds terrific and fantastic. The music here is the sort of female alter ego to Rob Zombie’s more electronic work. An impressive and cruising listen, this is brilliant Alternative Music that sounds amazing, even today. A great and catchy tune, this is an obscure release that sounds very amazing. Saffron sounds like a female Liam Gallagher, exuding a sneering and tuneful stance, and sounds amazing. The song goes back into the acoustic guitar based part in the second half, before returning back into the mayhem at hand. A clever, cool, and interesting piece of music, this proves the power and spirit of women out there, even back in the 1990s when male music was much more predominant. Very catchy and worth repeat listens, this is an amazing listen. A fine starter track for this album and let’s hope it continues. This no doubt was a radio staple of some stations back in 1996, a timeless and glorious effort. Wonderful.
Bloke begins with stereo-panned electronic sounds and launches into a cool EDM styled tune that sounds mint. A really interesting introduction, it launches into a guitar-heavy wah-wah-driven piece which shows that, yes, EDM and Rock can merge together to work nicely. Saffron’s voice enters and discusses the materialism that makes a man show off his…pride. Nonetheless, just like the opening tune, this is underrated and amazing to listen to this day. This is about taking on such man, to glorious electronics and nicely edited guitars. Sure, this is a bit of a throwback to the late 1980s and early 1990s, which had long gone by this time, but it still sounds effortless and amazing to this day. The intricate sounds here are very much mindblowing and it is quite a confrontational song, but it really works well. “I’m gonna take you on,” is repeated here, being the woman’s desire to impress her friends and audience via song. A cool tune, all the same, this works wonderfully. A powerful and interesting song, and it does do justice musically. It fades out nicely at the end, great tune.
Bitch begins with some electronic sounds and vocals, before launching straight into a very New Order styled tune, complete with electronics galore and guitars to match. This is an interesting piece of music and is the 1990s answer to Blue Monday. A clear English accent is present from Saffron, and this is a piece of music about wanting the finer things in life. This is again, a very good piece of music, although it would come across as retro today. The electronic melody throughout is very memorable and awesome. This is something that your older sister would dig, and you will also as well, given you love EDM mixed with Rock elements. A fantastic listen about the things that one wants most, this is an ironically titled song, given the lyrical content. There is a brief breakdown in the second half which is cool, and it sounds really fantastic and amazing. A very gorgeously melodic tune with some nice guitar and electronics, this does make a good impression on the listener. A good piece of music and something that brings to mind the things that many human beings out there want. A pretty and melodic tune.
Get Off begins with some watery electronic sounds, quickly launching into a very UK Hardcore sounding tune. It is very early 1990s sounding but works nicely anyway. It quickly launches into a very Rave sounding piece of music, complete with cut-up Amen breaks. This is a confrontational tune lyrically, and Saffron does sing this very well. An upbeat tune, this is a bit of a lesser cut on this album, it is about the pressures of postmodern life. Indeed, it makes much more sense today with a world of over eight billion people, and it sounds vaguely sexual as well. Regardless, it is an interesting listen, just before the masterpiece film The Matrix was released in 1999, which it would have fit on the soundtrack. A genuinely great listen, even for a lesser track, it retains the spirit and consistency of the music at hand. A good four minute slice of music, even if by this point, the album isn’t as good as the opening track. Still, it works well.
Picture Me begins with some interesting electronic sounds, tribal styled drums, and a flute being played. This is very different musically and has a World Music touch about it. Good to hear some variety. There is some Eastern sounding instrumentation here before a deep, dark bass sonic groove enters and this piece gets underway. Acoustic guitars and bongos are played, before Saffron emerges, singing with a deep northern British accent. This is very different and sonically excellent sounding music and is a leftfield tune from a group that merges Pop, Acid House/Rave, and Rock structures into a solid piece of music. It just sounds really interesting and amazing, and the music is very interesting, along with the lyrics. A very slow, groovy, and catchy listen, this sounds a lot like an effort that could have been on Leftfield’s legendary Leftism album released a year before in 1995. More textural than song based, it does do the job nicely. A great piece of music, it has some interesting musical promise here. This is a very underrated album so far, and this song, like the others, impresses. It ends with Acid style sounds and breakbeats, before concluding. Different.
Drop Dead Gorgeous is a catchphrase nowadays. It begins with some electronic sounds, heavy guitar riffs, and a great and enthusiastic energy about it. This tune eventually launches into a very aggressive tune that sounds really cool. The 1990s was truly a magical era of a multitude of different musical genres and tunes like these exhibit quality prior to an autotuned world. The chorus is magical here, and the whole thing sounds direct, raw, and amazing. There is a great set of guitar work here, with some wah-wah parts that sound tripped out. A really great piece of music, attacking an ex-boyfriend who is great to look at, but untrustworthy. Simply good, even though this music hasn’t dated terribly well. An interesting and personal statement from Saffron and Republica, it does sound interesting anyway. A good piece of woman power, this is something that even straight males can enjoy. Awesome tune. It ends with multitracked guitars, a synth in the background, and a quick finale. Neat.
Out Of The Darkness begins with some melancholy string based sounding sections, soon enough launching into an interesting 1990s EDM based tune. This isn’t the best tune on the album, and it references many postmodern elements of society that are taken for granted today, including cigarettes and fast food. The tune itself is a bit of a soul baring piece, and it sounds really different, but energetic. There are many references to tobacco smoking and being trapped in one’s world, which makes sense if you are stuck on a certain frequency in life. It’s good, but certainly not the strongest song here and is fairly dated today. The Electronic sounds towards the end, Acid House based, are very good and interesting. Otherwise, this is a bit of a musical rant. Catchy for what it is, however. Weird tune, but nonetheless listenable. The ending is also weird.
Wrapp is a short piece under two minutes long. It is a colossal piece with some cool and punchy breakbeats through, sounding just amazing. This is a good tune for such a short, intermission piece and has lyricism alluding to female sexual desire. A really powerful and different musical piece that sounds really interesting, it shows that women just as much as old hairy male Rock groups, also want to get it on. A cool piece of music. It’s over before you know it.
Don’t You Ever begins with dark, melancholy electronic sounds and launches into some Joy Division/New Order sounding territory musically, updated for the 1990s. This is another dark and deep statement present, and it is a bit ordinary here. This is a bit of proof that the consistency of the album wears out a bit by this point. It’s really only worth hearing if you like dark and personal music set to a modern 1990s EDM structure. Despite this, it’s okay, but just not sensationally good. Fairly ordinary sounding, but soul baring, this is a Saffron number pleading for a lover not to leave. Deep. It is a good listen, but nothing sensational here. It just comes across as a bit lacking. Anyway, a bit of a drag, but a necessary listen to those who are experiencing relationship problems.
Holly – Radio Mix begins with some nice breakbeats, a weird musical riff and some cool guitar work. This launches into another track that lacks lightness and consistency towards the end of this album. This is fairly bleak territory compared to other moments on the album, and it just sounds really daft and unnecessary here. The album shows its flaws on these negative and honestly unnecessary tunes towards the very end of this album. It’s not outright bad but if you want miserabilism, other artists do this more consistently. Good, but definitely not great. The guitar riffs are quite good, but this falls flat. The breakdown in the second half is interesting, with guitars galore, but this tune feels fairly formulaic. A shame to hear, but this album is not a concept album designed to be heard all the way through, which exposes its flaw with consisterncy. A drag, and yes, skip this one if you are up to it.
Ready To Go – Original UK Mix is the last tune here, and it begins with some piano and synth strings. Fairly majestic here, it shows a great deal of excitement and musicality in this remix. A more EDM based number than the album version at the start, this is a nice addition to an album which sounds different. This isn’t as good as the main version of the song, but it’s okay to hear a good remix of a classic song. Enjoyable for what it is, this is a good EDM mix of a classic song, it is something perfect to add into an 1990s DJ set. A good finish to an album that is also quite good, even if it lacks greatness at times. There is an electric piano solo, just before this tune launches into an instrumental break and this piece reaches towards its definite end. This lacks the spirit and energy of the main album version, but is okay anyway. This wraps up an interesting snapshot of 1990s music, and a good album as well.
This album is a good listen, but not a great album. The original Ready To Go is an absolutely fantastic tune, yet the album gradually gets worse with each track after. Despite that, this is a definite woman power statement that really paved the way for future female based acts to gain much recognition via their musical work. This is the only really good Republica album, and after some later mediocre efforts, the group moved on from this project. Still, if you need some alternative Rock/EDM sounds from a female perspective based in the 1990s, then this is for you.
Femme fatale music.