By Mary Wildsmith
Michael Kim Roos takes moral hypocrisy by the proverbial balls in Republican Sex, a scathing Alt-Rock critique of those who impose their morals on others while keeping a walk in closet full of skeletons and dirty details. Roos tackles everything from homophobia and infidelity to erectile disfunction and corruption over sleazy Alt Jazz-Rock riffs full of lounge-y vocals, soaring female backup, and enough hot sax to make your head spin.
Republican Sex’s lyrics take the place of MVP in this scorching song, and really have to by default, as the soul of the track is buried deep in Michael Kim Roos tongue and cheek delivery of social black humor. Roos does an excellent job of tackling some of society’s most deeply unsettling issues with an exquisite balance between explicit themes and witty euphemisms which are blatant enough for an appropriate shock value without disturbing listeners to the point of offense (other than perhaps the existence of his subject matter.) The song’s melody is slinky and sexy enough to fit well, in a slightly uncomfortable way, held down by a grooving rhythm section, while the inclusion of brass, hot electric guitar and soulful backup singers bringing to mind exactly the high-rolling atmosphere alluded to in the song’s reference to casinos and clubs. All instrumental tracks are laid down with fabulous precision, and Roos’s vocals are tackily attractive, with a delivery that never breaks as he serves up the entirety of the wildly ironic piece.
Area(s) of Improvement:
This song is a trip, and Michael Kim Roos does a hell of a job selling it with his highly stylized vocal delivery. There are a few moments where the intensity and attitude of Roos’s performance seems to distract slightly from its straight academic execution, but that’s not necessarily an issue if the artist is looking for a showy, slightly kitschier feel. At the end of the day Republican Sex is slick, clever, and extremely entertaining. Thank you for sharing!
Target Audience Appeal:
Republican Sex is a great song for anyone with strong socio-political interests, or a general frustration with the status quo (a high percentage it seems these days), and while the song doesn’t fit the typical stylistic form, its strong messaging is also quite likely to perk the interest of the Punk crowd, outside of its base Alt-Rock listeners. A great track for a traditional live performance or album release, the song would also be quite strong featured on a topical show or podcast, at a community organized demonstration, or on a setlist at a more diy pop-up show.
Artist target suggestions:
Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Weird Al Yankovic, The Capitol Steps, Blood Sweat & Tears, Iggy Pop
About the Reviewer:
Mary Wildsmith is an FM Radio DJ, and has been involved in both on-air work and radio production for five and a half years, in addition to working the past decade in and out of the live entertainment industry. She has experience with the fickle nature of the music industry, selecting singles to promote or discard for radio play, and engineering stage to audience sound systems. Having worked balancing, troubleshooting, and running audio rigs has enabled her to be both sensitive, and sympathetic, to the finesse and nuance of quality recording. Mary is passionate about promoting new and independent artists, and has spent extensive time in round-table environments discussing music and audio critically, and collaborating with artists to enable them to put the best possible foot forward with their art.
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Strength