Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

"Creature Republic-Watch Your Aim"

April 1, 2006

creaturerepublicBand Name: Creature Republic
Album Name: Watch Your Aim
Best Element: Female vocals that don’t sound like Amy Lee!
Genre: Modern Rock
Website: www.creaturerepublic.com
Label Name: Cyclone Records
Band E-mail: info@cyclonerecords.com

It’s good to hear a rock album that just goes for it and doesn’t suck at doing it. This may be the only modern rock album that I’ve heard that I didn’t feel compelled to turn off partway through, and it’s because Creature Republic knows where its strength lies- solid guitars and attitude-laced vocals. They don’t go for flashy solos or power-ballads- just solid rock, all through.

And that’s a relief, because the guitars are truly solid and the vocals are truly worthwhile. For the second time this month, I’m completely impressed by a female vocalist, as Alicia Hoogveld really knows her stuff. She has an alto voice that’s not too husky or manly, neither too high or operatic- a very straightforward, no-nonsense type of voice. It works perfectly in the context of the low-slung guitar songwriting.

And it should, because Hoogveld is also the guitarist unleashing the rock on this album. Thus, she can work with the songs until she’s comfortable with the vocals and the guitars in their right place. This makes a huge difference in their sound, as the vocals never sound strained and the guitars never fall out of time. The guitars themselves are pretty varied, from the metal overtones of “Watch Your Aim” to the charging rock of “Break Through” to the metal breakdown of “The Will to Fight”.

But don’t forget the bassist- no slouch either, Jarrett Sullivan lays down some impressive licks, such as the opening riff in “Break Through” and some impressive riffing in the bridge of “So Cold”.

With the added punch of the straight-forward drums (thankfully not overpowering), Creature Republic is a slick, mean modern-rock machine. They avoid songwriting cliches with varied guitar songwriting and nice bass work, they reject vocal repetition with the talented vocal cords of Ms. Hoogveld, and they generally destroy everyone in the modern rock scene right now. Creature Republic is impressive.

-Stephen Carradini
independentclauses@hotmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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