Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Romans find strength in vulnerability

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM

The Romans came together last year after bandmates Aaron Whitehouse, Ryan Clevenger, and Zevi Solomon (of the Son Red) abandoned their respective musical projects. The group cemented its sound and jumped into recording the first EP at Orange Peel Studios with the help of producer John Rosser (Alpha Giant, I’m Chinese). Needing a place to mix the recordings on a tight budget, Ed Roland of Collective Soul generously offered up his studio and the group’s resulting debut EP, SAMO, will be released May 20.

The EP features a blend of new wave and dark indie rock that’s seemingly influenced by both Modest Mouse and the Cure. The title track is a doleful melody with captivating guitar licks behind steady drumming that offsets the erratic longing evoked through lyrics of heartbreak. Solomon describes the five-song EP as highlighting “the brighter, more melodic side of what the Romans are doing as a band.” Though the tempo picks up and lightens on songs like “Open Conversation” and “The Love You Let Sleep,” the underlying essence is vulnerable, atmospheric and melancholy. It’s not hard to get lost in the moving melodies, swirling guitars and haunting vocals of each song. For its first effort, the cohesion of sound is solid, suggesting the group has a lot to offer.

"The Love You Let Sleep"

The Romans host the SAMO release party on Fri., May 20, at the Basement (beneath the Graveyard Tavern). $7. 9 p.m.

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