Republica - Speed Ballads (deConstruction) 'Nothing's feeling new,' laments Republica's frontwoman Saffron. In the song with that name, she lists the luxuries she has: CNN, mini-discs, virtual pets, cable video with surround sound. And over thumping beats and guitar riffs, she discounts it all: 'Everything is useless, everything is stupid.' On Speed Ballads, Republica offer 10 tracks that thrive on the vigour of guitar disco. Their blend of techno-rock always brings to view a futuristic, Blade Runner-esque sonic soundscape, so it is apt to see songs on Speed Ballads trashing the excesses of technology on modern life. A shame this album offers nothing to rival the catchiness of Ready To Go or Drop Dead Gorgeous. But there is always From Rush Hour With Love or Pretty Girl Hate, which flourish on obvious lyrics and adrenalin. The band's lyrical absurdities reach a nadir with Kung Fu Movies, with its jumble of references such as 'Kowloon Gardens', 'Bruce Lee', 'Hong Kong style' and even an incomprehensible bunch of Cantonese words. But hey, who listens to Republica for lyrical inspiration anyway? Just get on and enjoy the ride.