Awesome New Republic

South Florida, if you boil it down, is chock full of enough surrealist bizarr-o-ness that its inherent charms prove a bit much for outsiders. The kids raised in this subtropical environment are subjected to steady if at times disharmonious doses of hip-hop, disco, punk, metal, and jazz. It's difficult to imagine that one band could assimilate all of these different strands, but Awesome New Republic manages quite nicely on the full-length ANR So Far and the twelve-inch (vinyl only) four-tracker All Party Talks. The twelve-inch is solid funk with occasional horns and guitars accompanying the drums and synths of Brian Robertson and John Hancock. The full-length expands on that template, offering the thrash punk of "Kill South Beach Dead," the soulful balladry of "Going Down," and the dissonant space-age bachelor pad of "Dirge." The one-two punch of ANR So Far and All Party Talks makes a strong case that it's a new age for South Florida's music scene.

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Abel Folgar