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The Republic of Wolves - No Matter How Narrow Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 9
Production 9
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 90%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.83
Musicianship 7.92
Lyrics 8.04
Production 7.83
Creativity 7.83
Lasting Value 7.83
Reviewer Tilt 7.83
Average: 79%

The Republic of Wolves - No Matter How Narrow

Reviewed by: Zac Djamoos (12/23/13)
The Republic of Wolves - No Matter How Narrow
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: December 17, 2013


Each new Republic of Wolves album seems to marginally overshadow the previous. Varuna expanded on the Brand New worshiping His Old Branches EP and their Cartographer EP was even better than Varuna. Enters No Matter How Narrow, here to claim the title of The Republic of Wolves’ masterpiece.

Whereas their previous three releases had been dark, brooding affairs, …Narrow is a bit lighter. This is apparent first even from the album cover – this one is white and gold and blue, while Varuna’s was brown and red and navy. But it’s the music that’s important. The choruses present are catchier than in the past, the guitar riffs are brighter than before, there’s less screaming present on this release. And when screaming is utilized, it’s done in a more sparing fashion, just to accentuate. A perfect example of this is the bridge of “Pioneers,” which finds only ten seconds of screaming for emphasis.

It’d be easy to call “Pioneers” the best track on the album, but then “Keep Clean” begins and you decide that that song is, in fact, the best on the album. On an album like this it’s hard to choose a best track; each one offers you something different. “Stray(s)” makes the best use of the band’s two vocalists, “Spare Key” has some of the best lyrics the band’s ever written, “Greenville, MO” has probably the catchiest chorus on the album, and “Pioneers” has the album’s most intriguing instrumentation. There’s no “The Attic” here, no song is clearly better than all the rest. If anything, “Arithmetic on the Frontier” is the worst song on the album. Not that it’s a particularly bad song, but the gang vocals at the end sound a bit awkward, especially since the song begins acoustic. Luckily, it’s the shortest on the album, so it’s not even a major hiccup.

Really, there are no major hiccups with the album. It’s a good amalgamation of everything The Republic of Wolves has released to this point, raised up a bit. It’s easily their best release, and if they keep up their streak, LP3 will top even this. I can’t wait.

9/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 30
10:26 PM on 12/23/13
#2
Vance Mook
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Oddly enough, I almost wrote off this record based on the single when it was first released. Couldn't be happier I didn't- this record had potential to fuck up my current EOTY list, I enjoyed previous release, but I'm immensely glad that they seem to have found their own sound on with this record.
01:52 AM on 12/24/13
#3
lamensterms
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This album is definately a lot lighter and more up-beat. For that reason I do find it harder to access. The mood of His Old Branches and Varuna suited my taste perfectly, and The Republic of Wolves are definately in my top 5 favorite bands. This album, however, will take a few listens before I decide on whether or not I can get into it.

Good review too, I just hope the album turns out to be worth the praise.
05:46 AM on 12/24/13
#4
Protested Hero
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Love the album. Took a few spins to really get into it, but once I did I didn't look back.
08:50 AM on 12/24/13
#5
Vance Mook
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Also, the fact that they conserve the heavy parts on the record make the heavy parts wayyy better.
10:44 AM on 12/24/13
#6
loudasallgetout
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There is no The Attic here....
10:58 AM on 12/24/13
#7
tyrannus
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This album is pretty fantastic. I prefer the darker/brooding songs as that is the vibe that pulled me into the band to begin with, but I am definitely digging the more upbeat stuff too.

I will say that your review is completely off base with regards to “Arithmetic on the Frontier”. That song, while sounds different than the rest of the album, is really quite awesome. It sounds so raw on a good pair of headphones. I'd honestly like to see more in this direction.

If there is a shortcoming on this album it would be that it needs more Gregg Dellarocca vocals. Then again, I could just be pining for more American Gospel....(tall tales vol. 2 anyone?)
10:42 AM on 12/25/13
#8
loudasallgetout
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This album is pretty fantastic. I prefer the darker/brooding songs as that is the vibe that pulled me into the band to begin with, but I am definitely digging the more upbeat stuff too.

I will say that your review is completely off base with regards to “Arithmetic on the Frontier”. That song, while sounds different than the rest of the album, is really quite awesome. It sounds so raw on a good pair of headphones. I'd honestly like to see more in this direction.

If there is a shortcoming on this album it would be that it needs more Gregg Dellarocca vocals. Then again, I could just be pining for more American Gospel....(tall tales vol. 2 anyone?)
Yeah he posted in the other thread saying he had to take a step back on this album and is working on his own stuff.
11:01 PM on 12/25/13
#9
iamevicted
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I love almost everything these guys have done. But, for me, "The Attic" is one of the low points on Varuna.

Anyway, the new album is great, like you said, and I agree with the other poster, it could have used more Gregg.
05:38 PM on 12/26/13
Sic Transit Zeb
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Album rules. Personally, I just didn't like Varuna very much. I tried but just couldn't get into it.
06:02 PM on 12/27/13
Kmil
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Amazing album, loved Varuna, but enjoy this one a bit more.
08:31 AM on 12/30/13
Thomas Nassiff
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This album is in the ballpark of what I wish Transit woulda released instead of Young New England. I like it a lot.
09:00 AM on 12/30/13
jordalsh
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This album is in the ballpark of what I wish Transit woulda released instead of Young New England. I like it a lot.
exactly what I thought.
09:26 AM on 12/30/13
Sanzen
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I will say that your review is completely off base with regards to “Arithmetic on the Frontier”. That song, while sounds different than the rest of the album, is really quite awesome. It sounds so raw on a good pair of headphones. I'd honestly like to see more in this direction.

This.

Arithmetic is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Short and sweet.

Love the whole thing, though - definitely in my top 10 for the year.
10:00 AM on 12/30/13
Mikeallover
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Coming from someone who never listened to this band before today, I like what I'm hearing. The vocals kind of remind me of a mix between Mae and The Starting Line.
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