Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

This Band Will Kick Your Ass

What a great discovery. On their absolutely scorching new ep Cooler Than Your Boyfriend, Chicago power popsters the Romeros blast in with a BIG anthemic sound, an absolutely relentless twin guitar attack. They love Big Catchy Hooks. Cheap Trick is the obvious comparison, but without that band’s frequently cloying, dweeby vibe. They also evoke Stiff Little Fingers at their cheeriest and catchiest. Thirty years ago, they would have had a slew of AM radio hits – and that’s a compliment. The Romeros understand that hit songs are simple and catchy: after all, you don’t walk around all day with a Joe Lovano solo running through your head. The album kicks off with Tonight, almost like a slower oi-punk song with a pop feel, like something you would have heard at CBs circa 1980. It’s simple and catchy, maybe echoing what you’d hear on the Saints’ first album, with a simple but effective guitar solo then back into the crunchy chorus with tasteful lead licks on the way out. Wow!

Big in Japan isn’t a cover of the Alphaville hit: it’s another anthem with a sardonic lyric about a band not being able to make it big where their obvious audience is. It sounds like it’s a big crowd-pleaser. Love Notes is fast over a bed of acoustic and electric guitars: it sounds live, maybe better that what they’d be able to do with it in the studio since they completely cut loose with the vocals. I Could Never Take, another live recording, is a blistering rocker. The band sounds completely drunk, and better off for it. The lead player does a goosebump-inducing slide down his low E string with his guitar pick as the first couple of verses crescendo into the chorus. The guitar solo is straight out of the Ron Asheton songbook, a lot of over-the-edge bluesy licks that go absolutely nowhere, but it completely fits the song: absolute pandemonium.

Can’t Hardly Wait is another live track, very mid 80s, like the DBs with balls. Nice completely over the top heavy metal ending. Somebody to Shove is yet more live stuff, nicking its intro from some 80s song (somebody tell us what!!!) with a furious, pounding chorus, the closest thing to SLF they do. Some of their lyrics sound like an afterthought, but that’s not a big deal: this band is all about the hooks. Yet further proof that the best things in rock are happening outside of New York right now. Chicago has long been known for killer party bands and these guys are as good as they get. These guys offer a really cool deal: not only can you get the ep, you also get the “gift pack” which includes a Romeros t-shirt PLUS another bonus disc of live tracks, bootlegs, acoustic demos, basement tapes and rarites along with pins, stickers and a poster for your bedroom door for the obscenely low price of $7! If that’s not fan-friendly, nothing is. What a great way to get to know a totally kick-ass band. CDs are available online and at shows.

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March 22, 2008 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment