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The Republic Tigers
Keep Color
Chop Shop Records


Everyone wants to be proud of bands that come out of their area, bands that you're happy to say "Yeah, they live in my city!" Proud is one thing, but completely blown away and utterly infatuated with, is something else. At first I was happy to say that The Republic Tigers were from my area. But after finally picking up their CD the same day I finally caught their live show, it goes so far beyond proud. This band is something completely different, something completely amazing and something from Kansas City!

With the release of their first full length album Keep Color, the Tigers have already been making their way to [hopeful] success. With 3 TV spots including Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl and Supernatural, on top of their performance on The Late Show with David Letterman, the buzz had been stirring months before the [album's] street date. Not to mention anytime that iTunes thinks that you're cool enough that they give one of your songs away for free, you're bound to gain a few hundred fans at least. But don't let the "popularity" tag fool you, their music has the brilliance to make a presence all on its own.

"Buildings And Mountains" starts off their album and their introduction into the music scene as their first single. If you ask any of the members to explain the meaning of the lyrics in "B&M" you won't really get an answer, as they're content with the fact that this song can mean so much to so many people in so many different ways. The simplicity of the music is what I enjoy the most. Sure there are computer effects and synthesizers mixed in, but the strength of the music lies in the guitars. They're ever so faint, leaving way for Kenn's strong voice to power through. Add a few "oh's" and "ah's" and you have an absolutely beautiful song. One of my other favorite songs is conveniently at the number 2 spot on the album. "Golden Sand" has the coolest beginning; they managed to take male voices, harmonize them and create an effect that's enchanting and possibly a little eerie at the same time. As the voices gain intensity they get you ready for the true feeling of the song. The guitar finds itself louder and the drums come out of hiding in this one. It has an incredible rhythm that's nearly intoxicating and has you dancing in your car. Along those same lines and along down the album you find "Fight Song." There are so many levels to this song that it makes you never wanting it to end. The war-like drums that start the song pop up a few more times in just the right places. The lyrics may be telling you to "evacuate now" but the infectious melodies keep you locked into the music and almost empowered to go out and do… something. The last song that really speaks out (at least for me) is "Stranger To The Eyes Of A Child-Man." It's very emotionally deep and at the same time bold in its delivery. The depth sometimes goes beyond the emotions and into the music. Between the choir-esque harmonies, the baritone octaves that Kenn hits occasionally, and the enchanting lyrics, this song is practically mind-blowing.

If you're a first time listener or have only heard "Buildings And Mountains" you may not know what to think. But between the many layers of almost a fold-rock-electronic hybrid, you'll find music that easily compares itself to that of rock gods Coldplay. This band has more to offer than I can describe here and is worth the $12.99 at Best Buy (every penny).

-Rachel Fredrickson

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