Rome Romeo EP
In March 2007, long-running Quebecois pop-punk act Fifth Hour Hero announced they were calling it a day. The news was a massive bummer for anyone who had dug into the band’s impressive catalog, a collection that represents some of the best melodic punk to have been made north of the border. So when co-vocalists and guitarists Geneviéve Tremblay and Olivier Maguire announced the formation of Rome Romeo early in 2009, those frowns turned upside down. This self-titled EP represents the band’s first recorded output, and while it bears little sonic similarity to the driving punk of Fifth Hour Hero, it shares the gritty honesty and uncompromising swagger (along with Tremblay’s distinct voice).
Rome Romeo is five tracks of sludgy, slow rock ’n’ roll, with more Kyuss than Avail running through the rolling stoner-fuzz of “Good Friends” and “Skin Temperature.” The latter is the most fully realized track, nicely balancing the band’s newfound penchant for slow-burning riffs with their natural tendency to write spot-on, catchy melodies. “Lose Your Head” contains a verse that could be from a long-lost Fifth Hour Hero demo, while “Money Loves Money” contains a brilliant hook, but a dull mid-section that betrays the rest of the song’s excitement. Rome Romeo isn’t a perfect release, but it’s a worthwhile document of a new direction that holds a lot of promise. (MACHETTE) Sam Sutherland
GO DOWNLOAD: “Skin Temperature”