Most Serene Republic - ...And The Ever Expanding Universe

2009-09-14 | |

Dream Pop has always intrigued me, and the dreamiest dream pop has always come from The Most Serene Republic, a band I once caught on Kerrang! TV early one morning playing their awesomely orchestrated hit “The Men Who Live Upstairs”. I had a gap in my schedule, to tie me over for the weekend of my big move to Cardiff, and this is what I was met with – reviewing The Most Serene Republic's new album (by new, I mean it's one I hadn't heard and was released in July...).

The dreamiest sounds emanate from this album, but then again so do the less dreamy sounds; there are tunes that make me think of dream pop, and tunes that make me think it's more of a nightmare. The opener partially sold me on the album, but, then I was kicked in the teeth by the second song; I mean, it's all 'quality', but, it's like putting The Horrors on the same album as The Arctic Monkeys because they're both playing “dark indie” nowadays. It works, only on a superficial level.

Maybe I'm just being overzealous in my reviewing of this. Maybe I'm just a bit tired after arranging an entire room all day, and I'm writing this in an effort to get it done before the internet gets installed tomorrow morning. In short: I am writing because I have nothing else to do. I could drink water, or heat up a hot-pot, but, instead, writing is there to fill the gap.

We've got to look at the glaring problems in this album before we can go on:

  • Compared to Population and Underwater Cinematographer, it just becomes droning pop; it lacks the real angst to become shoegaze, but, it also lacks the saccharine sweet sounds to make it dreamy. This is the 'dreaded third album'.

  • Instrumentally, it's got more discordance than the prior albums. It's just not showing a growth from them that I should have expected; it's really just 'another album', rather than being 'a step forward'.

  • It's not a grower. If you don't like it, you will not come back to it. You will never come back to it.

I'm a fan of this band. Let me be straight up with you – I am a fan, a big fan, I love listening to The Most Serene Republic; I swoon whenever I hear Population. But this...this is not The Most Serene Republic. This is some band using the name; either that or I must genuinely accept that they are indeed failing to impress me as they should. I don't even see glimmers in this album; I see no redeeming qualities; I see just discordant music, for people who want to complete a collection.

Overall: 3/10 – I'm far from impressed; I've heard them do so much better; and this may as well be a live album for all I care. Not good; not a grower; just plain.

Top Track: Bubble Reputation

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