With 2016 finally coming to a close, the nation is letting out a collective sigh of relief. It’s been a strange year for social issues, propaganda, and political uncertainty. This is a music blog so I’m gonna try really hard not to share my personal opinion or force some sort of political agenda down your throat. God knows the American People have experienced enough of that in the last few months, but one thing we can all agree on, the music has been killer!
I’m not going to lie, when I was presented with an EP from an artist called Republican Hair, I was apprehensive. Not judging an artist before hearing them of course, but only because I’m exhausted with everything politically charged. Don’t get me wrong, some of the greatest recordings in the history have come from artists speaking out against oppression of The Man, but I’ve been longing for a time when music was artistically credible but also fun.
Upon the very first listen of the EP, my preconceptions were shattered into non-existence! Throughout the four songs on this EP, there isn’t one single reference to anything political! Instead of Lefts and Rights, it’s filled to the brim with aspects of secular music that’s been missing for decades! Songs about girls who only exist in the movies, dancing in the face of uncertainty, and living life by enjoying the simpler things found on dance floors and tape decks of brightly colored convertibles.
The vibe is 80s heavy with clean guitars, dry reverb drum beats, tight delay vocals and a thick layer of glossy production. For example, my favorite track “I Don’t Care” sounds like Devo covering Springsteen’s “Born To Run” and yes, it’s just as amazing as you could imagine! Each track spiritually references The Cars, Rick Springfield and The Talking Heads yet never gets to the point of parody. Tongue is firmly in cheek but Republican Hair isn’t a schlock show of awkward 80s references and nostalgic pretentiousness, it’s still interesting music.
Adding to the fun of this project is the fact the man behind Republican Hair is a mystery for now. The only thing known is he is an accomplished songwriter on Nashville’s Music Row with #1 Country songs under his belt, and this is some sort of creative outlet to write, produce, and record music outside the standard conventions of his bread-winning genre. Many will probably see that as a fun gimmick but to me it really keeps all the focus on the music itself where it needs to be!
High and Tight is available from the Cincinnati based,vinyl label Soul Step Records, in a very limited run of red, white, and blue variant before moving over to the standard black.
For more information (sorta) on Republican Hair, visit the Official Website
To order High and Tight, please visit Soul Step Records