Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Republic of Letters “Stories”

San Diegi based Republic of Letters is a modern rock band that sounds like a fusion of 80s new wave and post-grunge rock…kind of like Echo & The Bunnymen meet Dishwalla. It is an intriguing and enticing sound for the most part, but would sound even better if these guys could write hooks that were better defined. The song structures are compelling and the lyrics interesting, so the stage is set for some very promising atmospheric rock. But there is something missing…

The band was originally formed by the Venti brothers, with Chris on vocals and guitar and Nick on drums. Chris Venti has a voice that is going to draw mixed reviews. He clearly has power behind his pipes, but whether he has full command of this power is a debatable question. He transcends into vibrato at times that borders on Eddie Vedder having a bad day, and sadly it distracts from the warm bellow he projects. Venti’s tone is a good fit for this style of music, and he has some melodious moments, but they are too few and far between.

Fresh off the heels of this debut, “Stories”, the band continues to write prolifically, accumulating another album worth of material already. If the guys in Republic of Letters keep at it like this, odds are they will realize their full potential. Highlights from this record include “Lost Chord”, “Long Way Down”, and the title track. Check them out if you like Dashboard Confessional, Snow Patrol, or Black Lab.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 4

Republic of LettersOfficial site.