Track-By-Track: A Crash Republic – “Homewreckers: Sweet Apathy”

A Crash Republic are a pop-punk band from Boston that specializes in more complex musicianship than you’d expect for a band in the genre. Their new EP, Homewreckers: Sweet Apathy is a concept record of sorts that tells a compelling story, so overall, it’s their outside-the-box thinking that makes them an interesting act.

We’re excited to be teaming up with the band on the track-by-track of the new EP, which you can find below with an EP stream. Give it a spin below and follow along if that’s your thing.

Last September:
“Last September” was supposed to be our anthemic introduction of ourselves to the world as a band. I remember riffing off of a couple of ideas on the piano (through which a lot of the ACR song skeletons are written) and then coming up with the concept of starting off each line with “Lets.” Honestly I’m gonna have to give credit to the pool of genius for this one because the way it was written didn’t even feel like I wrote it, it just flowed so naturally. The song is based off of a lot of concepts and themes that we plan on talking about in the music we are going to release, especially throughout this “Homewreckers” trilogy and its story centered around counterculture and rebellion. It definitely includes a tone of sarcasm and irony. A lot of the arrangement acrobatics can be credited to Andrew and also Steve for taking the song to that next level. – Nick

At the very beginning of 2016 I woke up and decided to do something productive. ACR hadn’t been firing on all cylinders in a few years, so I opened up the first guitar pro file for our EP (at that point it was a 16 track album) and made the first demo for Last September. I sent it to nick that night with me doing scratch vocals on the entire thing and he freaked out. At that point he was living in New York City attending NYU, so we could only do so much over a long distance. We spent the rest of 2016 demoing what became our first EP. This song is very much the catalyst to what ACR has become. – Andrew

Overture:
“Overture” was a song I wrote while still in high school and trying to deal with the angst that comes with being a creative “edgy” kid with some sort of fire in his heart (as cliche as that sounds). It’s basically your A Day To Remember-esque song about hating your town and all of the people you find yourself around. While “Homewreckers” is supposed to be a concept trilogy, a lot of the lyrics draw inspiration from my own internal struggles. From the story’s perspective, this is our first glimpse into the main character’s state of mind and claiming individualism over society and his ideas towards how he does not want to “fall in line.” – Nick

Recording this song was a blast! I played drums on this song, resulting in it being very similar to the parts I programmed on the demo but with more life to them. It’s awesome to hear a track that was almost entirely recorded by myself (other than Nick’s vocals). I wrote the guitar solo for this song when I was 16 and could barely play it, yet it’s still as challenging as ever to do perfectly live. This song will always have a special place in my heart. – Andrew

Misanthrope:
“Misanthrope” is a much more sarcastic and fun version of “Overture.” While “Overture” focuses on the severity and seriousness of the situation involving feeling different and isolated, Misanthrope focuses on some sort of general disappointment with human nature, or at least the culture that the main character was brought up in. In my opinion, this is one of the most “pop-punk” tracks on the EP. We made sure to go overboard with the harmonies because we definitely felt like we had a lot of space to get creative and have fun with this one arrangement-wise. Yes, those harmonies are all Andrew, I pretty much worked his vocals into overtime and didn’t pay and also took his bonus away. – Nick

I had a lot of fun tracking vocals for this song. I was given the opportunity to explore as many vocal harmonies as I wanted and even took over on the vocals on the second verse. Much to my surprise, most of the ideas were usable. – Andrew

Sweet Apathy:
“Sweet Apathy” is in my opinion, one of the best written songs. There is this old disgusting piano up in a motel in Vermont that I used to play and it sounded so bad but I always came up with the best chord progressions and melodies on it. That’s where I came up with the pre-chorus to this song, which may be my favorite pre-chorus I’ve written to this day. The lyrics are basically a big ol’ petty-party towards a girl who will only lead on and not date the *ahem* main character. Like I said, this EP explores more of the character’s stream of consciousness versus a chronological narrative. – Nick

This track was lifeless before we had Steve track drums for it, in my opinion. He added a whole new dynamic to it that I could never have imagined. For this solo, I actually wrote it while I spent a summer on Nantucket in basically isolation. I was given a very small section of time to do something creative over, and it’s definitely one of my favorite parts to play on the EP. – Andrew

Post Summer Rain:
So the story with the last two songs on the EP: “Post Summer Rain” and “Watch Your Luck,” was that after we decided to split “Homewreckers” into three separate’ EP’s instead of an album, we realized that the first EP was too short, so we had to add another couple songs. We decided to each pick an old ACR song from back when we were only recording music as teenagers and revamp them and also rewrite the lyrics to make them fit within the context of the story. “Post Summer Rain” was the song Andrew picked and is definitely the oldest written song on the EP (I wrote the music for it in 2009). The theme had always been nostalgia but the lyrics for the first version were hot garbage. I rewrote the lyrics for the demo and they were basically filler. So I rewrote the lyrics a third time for the EP and they stuck, painting the picture of the character in the grips of nostalgia very vividly and with feelings of despair. In terms of recording this was always the smoothest song to get done. Andrew did the drums to this in like 2 or 3 takes. – Nick

This was my pick for the EP as Nick explained. When we were very young we recorded this song as I was just learning to play drums and was really into Avenged Sevenfold. You can hear the influence everywhere on this track, especially on the solo. Instead of trying to modernize any of the parts, I left them basically as written by my 14 year old self. The song actually used to start with a palm muted guitar instead of a piano, but while we were mixing it I jokingly played a simple piano part while muting guitars. Nick and I immediately decided that is how it should go which changed the whole dynamic of the song. – Andrew

Watch Your Luck:
“Watch Your Luck” is the song that I picked; it was a song that I wrote in 2010 right around when easycore was huge. Part of the reason I picked this song is honestly thanks to The Revive Easycore Group on Facebook and the amount of support that our demos had been getting in that group kind of made me want to follow through with having an easycore song on the EP. This song definitely causes the story to exit the stream of consciousness and enter into more of a narrative. At this point, having experienced a lot of the nonsense that society and life has to offer, the main character makes a decision to commit to anarchy and counterculture. The next EP will focus more on the narrative cataloguing the results of this decision. – Nick

This song is definitely a bit of a challenge to play live for me. There is a lot of lead work during the choruses and I sing constantly. This song requires my full attention while playing and I still can’t always get it right. I have a philosophy of writing for the song, not for what is easy to play live. This definitely came back to bite me as soon as we started rehearsing it. – Andrew

About the record/band
Homewreckers: Sweet Apathy is the first part of a planned trilogy of releases under the concept of a character who commits to counterculture. It represents the beginning of the character slowly descending into anarchy and rejecting society around him. It presents itself as more of a stream of consciousness, while the following two EP’s will consist of more of a linear storyline.

A Crash Republic originally formed in 2008 when vocalists Nick Tello and Andrew Sullivan were still in middle school. After 11 years, some moves around the country and a couple of college degrees, the duo decided to reform the project with Steve Rehm on drums.

Their style immediately brings to mind the Dropkick Murphys, another Massachusetts-based punk band. Tello and Sullivan’s dueling raspy and clean vocals, combined with a viscous gang of vocals, pave the way for the dynamic musicianship that even has a hint of metal in the riffs and rhythm.

Homewreckers: Sweet Apathy was produced, engineered, and mixed entirely by A Crash Republic. Mastering was handled by Andrew Wade.