On September 12th, an Awesome New Republic (ANR) performed live to a small, enthusiastic crowd at the Crocodile Café. Brian Robertson (keyboards/vocals) and Michael-John Hancock (vocals/drums) are the engaging masterminds, behind ANR. The Miami duo are currently wrapping up their European and US tour, and have just released the deluxe edition of Stay Kids which is available now.
Packaged with a vibrant collection of hypnotic psychedelic pop, Stay Kids is the bands audacious release yet. The album is influenced heavily by the events of the year, particularly environmental disasters and the post apocalypse. As dreary as it may sound certain parts of the album work well as a dance mix, while at other times it’s a surreal blend of new wave melodies. ANR has performed live with Neon Indian, No Age, Fucked Up and Animal Collective. They are a rising hot commodity.
Like the titular opening track on the album, ANR started the set with the keyboard filled anthem, “Stay Kids.” The single is a lyrical prose, with Hancock’s effortless falsetto voice yearning for kids to remain young in a working man’s world. Robertson displayed some serious Schroeder (from the Peanuts gang) action, highlighting the classically trained pianist that he is. Soon to follow was the track, “It’s Around You.” Here the duo starts off with a beat-boxing intro. Then spills over to the haunting chorus, “keep your toe-nails on the ground, put your fingers in the air, let your voice sing it loud.” During the song, Hancock’s extra voice overs closely echoed Animal Collective crazy experimentations during their hits. This was put to use with the added effects.
They then mixed things up with their earthy narrative, “The Endless Field of Mercury.” It is a spiritual and hypnotic track that creates multiple layers to enhance the listener’s experience. “This Is The Timing” and “Wait Another Week” provide the same atmospheric vibe. The main focus of the subject matter may seem weird, and some tracks are questionable but it’s a flirty soundtrack that is appetizing. The album ends with the finale, “Year of Solitude Pays Of,” which is a satisfying ender I wish they could have performed live. It plays out as an endearing sing along.
Although Robertson performed with a bum leg and Hancock was drugged up with Red Bull, from a glance they appeared tired from all the touring. At one point Hancock explained that he believed they were driving into San Francisco that night. The audience certainly forgave him, and laughed it off, never to be mentioned again. But it was evident from their set that they were able to muster all the funk and pop that they painted vividly in their album, and were able to transcend to the stage effortlessly.
Article Photo by James Stanford
Featured Photo Courtesy of Girlie Action