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CD Review: Consumer Republic “Manifesto”

While it was in 2012 that the last Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place in Cleveland, it was back in 2009 that the Rock Hall city was awarded its first Induction Ceremony since the initial Cleveland Induction Ceremony back in 1997. That year, the city of Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame went all out to make the event as special as possible for that year’s induction class and Induction Ceremony attendees alike.

The week leading up to the 2009 induction featured many fun events to take in within the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and around the city of Cleveland itself. One main event that took place was the free day of music that happened within the Rock Hall itself. It was on that day that Cleveland got to experience three bands which included The Consumer Republic, the winner of 2008 Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands. It was on that day of April 4th, 2009 that every person in attendance at the Rock Hall for the free day of music got to experience the power and talent of Fortune Magazine’s “Best Corporate Band in the World”.

The Consumer Republic is a quintet made up of an international group of five fellow employees/musicians who all happen to work for the Geneva, Switzerland branch of Procter & Gamble; the five members who make up the band are Michel Jouveaux, lead singer; Daniel Bundy, bassist; Nicolas Moire, rhythm guitar; Win Sakdinan, lead guitar and Mike Aldridge, drummer.

During the set of cover songs that The Consumer Republic played on that special day, there was no doubt that the right band had won the 2008 Fortune Battle of the Bands. The band ripped through Classic Rock songs and Alternative Rock from Bon Jovi, U2, Matchbox 20, The Who and others. The only thing that was missing during their show was the opportunity to see if the band had what it took to be, not only a cover band, but a full-fledged band that could write their own material. Thankfully, The Consumer Republic has now released their first CD of all original material. The 2013 release from The Consumer Republic is entitled Manifesto.

Manifesto from The Consumer Republic begins with “Brighter than the Sun”. The Alternative Rock song has a style that brings to mind something that would have been written by Bono and the rest of the guys from U2. With the amount of songs that The Consumer Republic plays from U2 in their live performances, it is really not that surprising that their original music would pick up some of that band’s sound. The lyrics from Michel Jouveaux on the track have a very commercial feel to them. Together, the lyrics and music create a listener-friendly track that sounds like it deserves to be on the Top 40.

While “Brighter than the Sun” has a very upbeat rock and roll feel to it, the band slows things down on the next track of “Paint Me a Picture”. The easy pace of the track brings to mind something that could have come from someone like Five for Fighting. And while there is no piano player in The Consumer Republic, it is the overall feel of the track “Brighter than the Sun” that will make you think of Five for Fighting’s track “Chances”.

When The Consumer Republic takes to the stage and puts on a concert, their music encompasses both Classic Rock songs and more current styles. That combination of musical mindsets is very evident on the track “My Rainy Days”. The song contains a sound that seems to take the listener back in time to the musical era of Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, even Roy Orbison while still containing plenty of modern-day rock feel. The song is the perfect track to show off the musical influences that help shape the band’s sound.

To bring a little of the cover band feel of The Consumer Republic to the Manifesto release, the band included a recording of their version of the Britney Spears song “Baby One More Time”. With the band’s version of the song, they decided to remove the “pop” feel of the track and add a lot more “rock” feel to the track. If you have stopped listening to the Britney Spears version of the track because of the overproduced feel of it, the version of song from The Consumer Republic brings a fresh approach to it.

For their first release, The Consumer Republic has created an EP of music that has the same sound and feel of the music one would expect to hear from the band as they play one of their corporate event gigs. The five songs that make up the Manifesto EP appear to be just as strong as any of the covers the band has incorporated into their live set list. And although the band still exists mainly as that corporate band that won the 2008 Fortune Battle of the Bands they have proven, if given the chance, that The Consumer Republic could give the bands that do it for real a run for their money.

Click HERE for a performance of The Consumer Republic at The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame from the 2009 Rock Hall Induction.  

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