Sixty four tracks. Four albums. If any a band needed to learn the art of self control, it’s Republic Of Loose. Then again, it’s this wild abandon that has made them such an intriguing, exciting and often frustrating band over the years. The world, by rights, should have been their oyster from that very first single yet still they find themselves operating on the outskirts of the Irish scene. The amount of store that Republic Of Loose put on this state of affairs is ably demonstrated by the fact that this fourth record was largely recorded in Baltimore, further thrusting the band into a sound that will mark them out from the crowd.
It suits them. Bounce At The Devil (surely, hopefully a Mötley Crüe reference) is too long, by now a given, but is an undeniably fantastic record. The Baltimore influence on the process is clear, with the production tight and clear, but what could easily have turned out to be an embarrassing pastiche sounds like the most natural thing in the world. The gang mentality that has always defined their work is still there, especially in the cool as you like female backing vocals, and Mick Pyro has turned into an unexpected soul frontman of the highest order, with his turn on ‘How Is Your Brain?’ a genuine showstopper.
Of course they could have cut some of the fluff towards the end but by now excess is something we’ve come to expect from Republic Of Loose. The truth is that, for such a meandering piece of work, they manage to maintain the quality for most of it. By relocating, regrouping, rethinking and reinventing, this most unique of Irish bands have managed to write themselves another chapter in an increasingly interesting story.