Album Review: First Stage by Stage Republic – Netherlands

Stage Republic - FirstageArtist: Stage Republic
Album: First Stage
Album Reviewer: Michael Mariscal
Rating: 3
Rating 3 Approval
I can’t tell this band’s sound is really new, perhaps futuristic, or just 80’s.
Perhaps the dilemma comes from the variety in this album’s tracks. Some songs air on the harder side of rock (All the Way), some lean towards country (How the West Was Won), and some flaunt an obvious dub-step influence (The Way to Heaven).
The only constant in style comes from the singer, Raven, who unifies every beat and riff with his unique voice and tendencies. It acts as the band’s source of identity, the “it” factor that every band needs. But it also gets a little repetitive, as his generic pop choruses ultimately damage the meaning in the variety of the song’s genres.
Of course, sometimes his voice adds tremendously to an already great instrumental. Take the song Poker Face: it starts with an excellent guitar riff, already pushing the song to a level unreached by most of the rest of the album. Then Raven comes in, screeching a “heyyyyy” that bumps it up a few more notches. His excellent performance continues in the chorus, where he keeps it simple, singing only a few sustained notes that float perfectly over the instruments.
But in songs like Hollywood, Raven only leads the band the wrong way. The song starts with an interesting, heavy rock riff. Raven does nothing with it, only singing along with the notes of the riff in the verses. He then leads the band to another pop chorus, killing the originality brewing in the beginning of the song.
It’s moments like this that make it hard for me to give this album a great score. There are plenty of unique, uplifting moments throughout, but the repetitiveness and inconsistency in the music creates a ceiling for the band. With this in mind, I give this album a 3.

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