The Golden Republic “You Almost Had It”

The Golden RepublicArtist:
Cooper Johnson
Add Date:
August 1, 2005


Summer salutations to all of my friends in the music video community! It’s Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo back with another terrific clip from a new band just beginning to make waves in the indie rock world. It’s our great privilege to be working with our friends at Astralwerks to bring to your attention The Golden Republic, a four-piece from Kansas City with an exciting sound and attitude to burn. Because of their track record of terrific electronica releases, you might associate Astralwerks with European IDM. But The Golden Republic is a pure rock band of the best kind – big guitar, sturdy songwriting, the powerful voice of Benjamin Grimes, and songs of love, lust, restlessness, defiance, and perseverance in the face of disappointment.

The Golden Republic begins with a scrawl of distorted guitar that slowly morphs into a glam-rock riff straight from the Marc Bolan playbook. Then the drums kick in – and you’re brought from 1970 to the best of modern rock radio. In roughly thirty seconds The Golden Republic lay out the arrangement and compositional algebra that have made them a huge crowd favorite in their native Great Plains. The guitars are rough and edgy, the licks are T-Rex sassy, and the production is immediate and radio-ready. Songs like the bracing “I’ll Do Anything” and the funky “Robots” swagger with Brit-glam assurance, but the soundscapes shine with the expansiveness of American classic rock.

Lead single “You Almost Had It” is the song destined for podcasts across the country – it’s got the indelible chorus, the sweet guitar crunch and fizz, the delicious ambiguity and indeterminacy, and the rock and roll arrogance that invariably dazzles indie rock nation. It’s a kiss-off, one written on the edge of desperation, and performed with passion and consummate precision (and, in places, the appropriate sneer). “Your teenage way of processing your thoughts gets me down,” sings Grimes, and both his disappointment and his outrage are palpable. Drummer Ryan Shank hammers home a jaunty glitter-rock beat on the snare, and the song dissolves amidst delirious oscillating guitar riffs.

As you might expect from a band that has posted a video game in which visitors to their website can smash up a hotel suite in rock-star style, The Golden Republic know a thing or two about getting rowdy and wrecking rooms. Director Cooper Johnson’s intriguing clip for “You Almost Had It” blurs the line between rock abandon and vandalism, between sex and violence. The band plays in a rain washed alley, floodlights streaming behind them like the high beams of approaching trucks. There is a pervasive sense of impending danger, and Grimes’s performance is affectingly spooked.

An attractive woman gyrates in a makeshift living room that may or may not be a projection on the brick walls. Though she’s dressed stylishly, she’s partially camouflaged by rug and sofa fabrics and wallpaper that’s similar enough to her clothing that she appears to be a manifestation of the room itself. At first, she dances, touching her hips suggestively and lifting her shirt a bit to expose her bare stomach. But as the song intensifies, she begins tearing the room apart – smashing pottery, destroying her computer screen, clearing the shelves of her records. It’s all shot as if it could be an extension of the dancing – acts of rock and roll release blur into property damage with a disturbing continuity. As if to drive the point home, Johnson cuts quickly between savagely-struck drumstrokes and the sinuous movements of the woman in motion.

To be working with Scott Kanov and the rest of the Astralwerks team is a great thrill and we’re very proud to bring you this sexy and irreverent new clip from The Golden Republic. Its been a while since we’ve worked with this high profile label (Basement Jaxx – “Where’s Your Head At?”- 2001) We would love to hook you up with The Golden Republic video interviews and ID’s as they are currently out on tour with Caesars and other HIP favorites The Sights. We also have plenty of copies of their latest self titled LP for on-air giveaways! If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at (732) 613-1779, or email You can also visit to find out more about The Golden Republic.

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