Album: Republic of Loose

"Aaagh!" (Loaded Dice)
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The Independent Culture

Highly regarded by artists as diverse as Bono, Scissor Sisters, Snow Patrol and Just Jack, Republic of Loose are an Irish nine-piece band whose energetic electro-funk grooves and bawdy sexual commentaries reflect a rumbustious combination of hip-hop attitude and soul power: a sort of cheeky rap-funk show band with a live reputation that's second to none. Anchored by strutting funk bass, the title track sets out their louche platform, before tackling thorny issues of sexual manners in a frank fashion in tracks such as "Break!" and "Comeback Girl" ("Drunk in the hallway, pissing in the doorway, finished with the foreplay, that's how I feel right now"). The general mood owes much to funk families such as Sly & The Family Stone, with the band's grooves relying on infectiously itchy little guitar figures that recall both Steve Cropper and Prince. Most impressive is "Mary Caine", whose catchy twitch-funk riff breaks down in a series of outlandish Beach Boy-ish vocal cascades that suggests they're only just scratching the surface of their potential.

Download this: 'Mary Caine', 'The Translation', 'Comeback Girl', 'Aaagh!'