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Album Review: The Republic of Wolves - Varuna

With it now being December, I thought I had (roughly) settled on a Albums of the Year list. However then this landed in my inbox and has since made me re-think said list. Admittedly The Republic of Wolves' début full-length, 'Varuna' sounds like Brand New's more recent stuff. However I'd go as far as saying this is better than the latter's 'Daisy'. Whilst the comparison is easy to make, TROW still manage to blow you away as 'Varuna' flows beautifully and leaves hooked right from the start.

The title track explodes with dark urgency, as the bands thunderous alt/indie rock style takes centre stage and then seeps into 'Woolen Blankets' which drifts along with light guitars, before the gradual build up to a full band lively conclusion.

Throughout the band manage to establish a strong sense of flowness, from the powerful 'Sea Smoke' to 'Oarsman' a near-perfect guitar-driven fist single that leaves you realising this band are exciting, although the screaming backing vocals are perhaps unneeded. Both are moments where the band show their louder moments in the best light possible.

Whereas 'Pitch And Resin' and 'Tuez Le Tous, Dieu Reconnaitra Les Siens' are more softer yet uplifting moments but still contain that dark edge that made the louder tracks so endearing. The latter especially is haunting with its airy atmosphere.

'Greek Fire' sees the Brand New comparison come into play, but it must be said this does not diminish what TROW do, as the still have plenty of originality and continuously pull off the alt/indie rock style brilliantly well. However the band also show a slight folk direction with 'The Attic'; a track that breathes fresh air into the album, but simultaneously continues its flowness.

From there on in, the Long Island continue to delight with a mix bag of laid back rock ('Grounded, I Am Traveling Light'), captivating storms like 'Tanzih' and dreamy, atmospheric closer, 'Tashbih'.

As a listener, I loved 'Varuna'. It's well-rounded, consistent and continues deliver a high standard from start to finish. Whilst some could consider them as imitators of those within the genre, The Republic of Wolves have firmly made a name for themselves with 'Varuna', as it leaves you hooked and immersed in what the band both lyrically and musically construct. Nonetheless its downfall is that its consistency has, at times, gives the record a lack of variation.

Ultimately though The Republic of Wolves are a band that should be given attention and credit they deserve, as 'Varuna' is bound to be spoken high of in many end of year lists.


'Varuna' by The Republic of Wolves is available now and can be purchased in the UK through Walnut Tree Distribution.

The Republic of Wolves on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!