Band of the Hour: Awesome New Republic
By Rayme Samuels
Awesome New Republic is going places - and fast. The Miami-based duo is fueled by an optimism that we can all pool together positive efforts to potentially create an awesome new republic in America. Their out of this world trilogy of danceable albums, Rational Geographic Volume I, II, and III, are inspired by Star Wars and are respectively funny, gloomy, and celebratory.
Band mates B. Rob E. Robertson (keys, vocals, bass, production) and Michael John Hancock (vocals, drums, guitar, production) have been playing together for 3 years after meeting in another band before deciding to start ANR. Trained in music at the University of Miami, these locally based rockers have made a name for themselves across the country. Their creative process flows similarly to that of hip-hop and R&B producers, writing infectious melodies while tracking on computer recording software.
Working with Honor Roll Music, a label that the band raves about, ANR have used their sound (inspired by the likes of Prince, Depeche Mode and Miles Davis) to rock on stages across the country. Describing their beats as a "mixture of R&B melodies and post-punk instrumentation," they recently participated as a Top 10 band in The Recording Academy® Florida Chapter Showcase. And in an interesting display of true artistry, the guys are offering a free download of Rational Geographic on their website right now. Stay tuned for Rational Geographic Volume II coming out July 14th, and Volume III, which drops in October.
“When people see B. Rob playing three keyboards at once and messing with effects pedals with his toes, all while singing backup vocals, that's what seems to draw people in initially,” said Hancock. He continued, “We try to make a kind of music that is consistently blurring the lines between R&B, Pop, and punk rock, while also mining all sorts of other genres for ideas and inspiration.”
Visit the band’s website at www.anrmiami.com or their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/awesomenewrepublic.
Awesome New Republic. Photo: Peter Richardson - 2009 - istayeduplate.com