Royal Republic’s Club Majesty is the kind of album that might be immune to pretentious critics like me. It’s so gleefully ridiculous and knowingly silly that it’s futile to even analyze it. Royal Republic has always been over-the-top in line with bands like The Darkness and Electric Six, but this time they have really outdone themselves. This album is all about gyration inducing, four to the floor grooves and lyrics so hilariously bone-headed that if you heard them on the dancefloor, you’d probably ask what the fuck have I been drinking? It also happens to be the best thing they’ve done since We Are the Royal. It might be a little TOO much at times, but it also happens to boast some of the strongest hooks of the bands’ career.
If you take yourself and your music too seriously than you best stay away from Club Majesty. This album is about getting lost in the sheer catchiness of it and singing at the top of your lungs in your car, at home or at your favourite bar. When I listen to this album, I constantly imagine a group of rowdy hooligans shotgunning beer after beer. The big reason for this is that it just never lets up. It’s just funk rocker after funk rocker. No political songs, anthems or ballads! I admit it can be tiring, but if you’re in the right mood or getting ready for a night of serious binge drinking, then it will do the trick.
The selling point or biggest detriment, depending on who you ask, are the lyrics. If you ask me, they are fucking funny! It’s obvious that these guys are trying to see what bizarre stuff they can write about and still have you dancing. You’ll get songs about fireman strippers, picking up dog shit and two violent people in a love affair. A lot of it is in questionably bad taste and politically incorrect. The purposefully cringy coda of “Flower Power Madness” actually contains these words: “Won’t you let me take a shower in the power of your flower!” Thankfully, frontman Adam Grahn’s delivery is so gloriously bombastic and tongue in cheek that you’d have to be pretty thin-skinned to be offended by this. It’s pretty clear that many of these songs are parodies that are poking fun at how sex-obsessed and dumb the hard rock and funk genres can often be.
None of this would remotely work if these guys also didn’t happen to be expert musicians. They blur the lines so well, it’s sometimes hard not to take them seriously. The rhythm section of Jonas Almén and Per Andreasson is so tight and unrelenting, that they seem to play chicken with anyone willing to tap along. Grahn’s singing range is so diverse and powerful that it makes you instantly forget how much of goofball he really is. It’s guitarist Hannes Irengård, however, who gives the most convincing performance. His fiery leads are so unbelievably sexy, funky and a tad cheesy, that I’m surprised he hasn’t toured with Lenny Kravitz!
Admittingly some of it is TOO stupid for its own good and some of it almost sounds genuine. Songs like “Under Cover,” “Like a Lover” and “Anna-Leigh” are guilty of this. None of them are particularly clever and at their worst seem like Journey B-Sides. Stuff like “Fireman and Dancer,” “Stop Movin’” and “Bulldog” on the other hand are sure to get you moving and laughing in equal measure. Overall, though, Club Majesty is a thrilling ride, just so long as you leave your brain at the door.
Written by Shawn Thicke
*edited by Mike Milito