They say fashion and pop culture are cyclical and this old adage is at work again with the current ’80s revival, with the recent Goonies-esque vibe of Stranger Things and IT, the Motley Crue film The Dirt and the Spielberg explosion of colour that is Ready Player One. As well as Muse‘s retro love fest Simulation Theory and the wonderfully abundant AOR cliches of The Night Flight Orchestra. From this colourful decade, Swedish rockers Royal Republic have drawn inspiration for their fourth album Club Majesty (Nuclear Blast Records).
It has all the hallmarks of the Royal Republic sound, short and sharp and snappy Rock but this time imbued with a lot of Dance and Pop. It may sound off-putting but it works, sharing a similarly camp feel good factor with The Night Flight Orchestra and The Struts. No time is wasted as ‘Fireman and Dancer’ assaults you with a delightfully funky riff. ‘Can’t Fight The Disco’ is similarly sprightly and has a Franz Ferdinand level of cut and thrust.
This album excels in creating a feelgood factor, with the subtle use of saxophone in ‘Boomerang’ lifting it even higher. It is aptly titled as well, as try as you might to get it out of your head it will just come whizzing back. The most vociferous earworm though is ‘Anna Leigh’, a tongue in cheek slice of pop rock with a Carry On approach to lyrics that Def Leppard would be proud of. ‘Armageddon It’? Oh, I think they are.
This relentless head of steam runs through the whole record with only a few misfires, ‘Like a Lover’ and ‘Fortune Favours’ chiefly amongst them. The former is a bit too plodding whereas the pop-centric latter just drones on aimlessly. They saved the most frenetic moment till last – ‘Bulldog’ is a hard rocking bundle of energy that is all wrapped up in 145 seconds.
Club Majesty is Royal Republics best album yet, a shamelessly camp collection of catchy, Disco infused Rockers that you will happily revisit.
8 / 10