2002 saw the release of a song so infectious that it stirred a zillion copycat music makers to jump on the bandwagon and get a piece while it was still rolling from dancefloor to dancefloor at full speed. ‘Addictive’ by Truth Hurts and featuring the legendary Rakim, saw the birth of the Hindi tinged RNB track invasion. And though it wasn’t an original concept, owing to Timbalands earlier similarly sampled efforts, it was certainly the first to take it to the mainstream. Here we are five years later and though I’m sure that ‘Break!’ by Republic of Loose (ROL) isn’t directly inspired by ‘Addictive’, it sure does hold roots of blame that reach out in that direction.
ROL are a seven to twelve part Dublin based band which has its own funky blues identity and U.S. chart sound. If System of a Down were a Bee Gees influenced boyband (crazy I know!) with Gwen Stefani leading the way, ROL is what you might end up with. The identity works well and the sound isn’t all together awful. An Irish band kicking out average chart sounds. Good on ‘em! But if this single serves as an example of their songwriting skills, well, they might be in trouble.
‘Break!’ unimaginatively repeats itself over and over, offering little distraction from the monotony whenever the track does ‘break down’. ‘Comeback Girl’, a previous effort that can be found on their website also travels the same annoying path. Having two LPs released (This is the Tomb of the Juice & Aaagh!) on two different labels (Fat Cat Records & Loaded Dice) is somewhat indicative of the problems they’ll face when pushing themselves into a befuddled spotlit audience. Initially appealing but eventually irritating. Sorry! They’re currently running the festival gauntlet, so I guess it won’t be long before they either make it or break it. Good luck to ‘em, though I suspect they might need it.