Republic of Loose

Bounce at the Devil

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Never one to subscribe to the "less is more" approach to pop music, indefinable Dublin collective Republic of Loose's fourth studio album, Bounce at the Devil, is impossibly crazy, even by their especially hyperactive standards. Recorded in Baltimore with producer Steve Wright (Blackstar), their follow-up to Vol. IV: Johnny Pyro and the Dance of Evil shows slight influences of the area's dominant house scene such as the dirty electro basslines, call-and-response chorus, and Black Kids-esque chanting of "The Blah Bounce"; the old-skool beats, spoken word samples, and techno riffs of the provocatively titled "Ded Prostitutes"; and the skittering Chemical Brothers-inspired breakbeats of "My Heroez." But elsewhere, its 15 tracks tackle a positively schizophrenic melting pot of sounds not only through the course of the album, but also occasionally through the course of a song. "Golf with Satan" combines eccentric frontman Mick Pyro's almost evangelical delivery with sinister country-blues, hair metal, and funk-rock; "Satan Bounce (Waltz with Satan & the Mechanical Prostitute)" opens with some squelchy techno synths before merging into a discordant fusion of prog rock, improvisational jazz, and screeching metal; and "How Is Your Brain" is a tongue-in-cheek, slightly cabaret blend of slightly gothic vocals, spiky angular riffs, and jazz-funk. While the album's "everything but the kitchen sink" sound ensures they'll never be pigeonholed, its overbearing nature means it's difficult to listen to in one sitting. The album may be more orthodox when they calm down, but it's much more palatable when it sticks to one setting rather than ten, as on the moody Fun Lovin' Criminals-esque electro-lounge of opener "The Lamp," the clattering folk of "I Love the Police," a firmly tongue-in-cheek antidote to N.W.A's classic anti-establishment anthem, and "99," a collaboration with Bo Starks that recalls the glossy '80s funk-rock of the Blow Monkeys. Bounce at the Devil's hodgepodge of sounds makes the Go! Team sound as formulaic as Status Quo, but at over 70 minutes long, you have to wade through an awful lot of organized chaos before you find anything worth discovering.