Rad Releases ’11- Romans

December 21, 2011
As the countdown to the end of the year approaches we take a personal look back on our familiar names, features and musicians’ top releases of the past 12 months.

This year has stood out for incredible releases and even more so for uncovering exceptional talent; most of which discovered, promoted and featured right on this site.

Continuing our feature is midlands based 4 piece band Romans.

Consisting of Tom Sivell- Vocals/Guitar, Russ Milton- Bass, Denny Connolly- Dums/Vocals and Ben Winnington- Guitar.  Birmingham four piece have  impressively been gigging live for just over a year and in that time have already gained a reputable stance for their powerful rock n roll infused deliverance.

This year has been a successful one to the four men having released their debut EP ‘Black Ties’
, released a music video and gained a solid fanbase from their live performances’- more is yet to come from this promising band.
We were lucky enough to speak to Ben and the rest of Romans for their top releases this year.

Romans Top Releases:

Ok, so for the releases, we’ve picked one each, and then one overall that we’re collectively fans of, so yeah, here goes:

Adele – 21 (Tom – Vox & Guitar):
It’s very rare that you find an album where you can listen to each song, without feeling the need to skip a track or two along the way. Do you ever have moments in life when you wish you had thought of that idea first? or in our case, written that song first…..yeah? well i get that with the whole album. She has been given massive critical acclaim this year, and the album is a clear example of why; the songwriting, production, musicianship and her voice are the strongest thing i have heard in a long time….incredible from start to finish.

Lower Than Atlantis -‘World Record’ (Denny, Vox & Drums):

When we listen to new music it’s usually passed on through out the band, but when ‘World Record’ was released none of us really took that much notice at all. We obviously knew of LTA through their previous release ‘Far Q’ (genius title), but that album really didn’t float any of our boats for one reason or another. However, a couple of months after ‘World Record’s’ release we all heard quite a buzz around the album and LTA respectively so we did the smart thing, sat down and had a good listen. On the first spin i think we were all quite confused regarding the sound and direction of the album, as with any first time listen to a record that is SO unique. Regardless, perseverance paid off, and we all realised it is a fantastic, incredible peice of music. Mike Duce (and his lyrics) can sometimes rub people up the wrong way in mags,on Twitter and with things like Internet rumours, but i guess that’s the beauty of Lower Than Atlantis: TRUTH. He never minces his words or hides behind pretentious metaphors, and the album really does define the saying “what you see is what you get” – well in this case, “hear”. Alot of the subject matter lyrically consists of stories and hardships of what it’s like to be in a band, but it is composed in such a manner that it does not create a distance or a “we’re better than you” divide with the listener, more of a feeling of shared experience rather than arrogance. Another positive about this record? Great songs from start to finish with no “filler” tracks; short and snappy, personal favourites ‘Deadliest Catch’ and ‘Motor Way Of Life’ prove just that, with excellent song writing ability. Overall, an outstanding record that has incredible longevity, and is lyrically second to none. Modern day poetry.

Brontide – Sans Souci (Me – guitar):

So much has been said about this album, that it’s probably best just to be short and sweet about it; there have been reviews questioning the absence of vocals, and pretentious muses on whether it fits appropriately into the ‘Post-Rock’ genre, amongst other things. If you listen to the album though, all of these seem null and void. This is, as far as I can see, as close to flawless as you will find in a record. So, if you haven’t already, listen to it. Simple.

Rival Sons – Pressure and Time (Josh Terry – Bass):

Pressure and Time by Rival Sons, is awesome from start to finish. With so many influences from blues, rock, soul, psychedelia and so much more, added to catchy melodies, this album will grab you by the balls and smash you in the face. Its that good. Do yourself a favour this christmas and buy Rival Sons ‘Pressure and time’.

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light (All):

I think, like everyone, we sort of felt as though it had been a while since the Foos had been at their best on record, so this album was set to hold quite a lot of weight. Still, apparently Grohl and co. weren’t feeling any pressure, as they managed to come up with something that silenced any critics. As a band, the biggest thing we’ll take from ‘Wasted Light’ is the mix of punk ideals; monstrous riffs; and glossy, polished choruses. It’s packed full of massive songs from start to finish, and it’s impossible to ignore as a standout from this year.

Romans favourite gig attended

Individually, I’m sure we could come up with 20 or more favourite shows from this year, and as a band, we’ve had the pleasure of playing with some amazing bands: Brontide, Dananananaykroyd, and the Computers at this year’s Off the Cuff being standout examples. However, a few weeks back, we all ventured out to see Every Time I Die, and they blew our minds. Watching a band perform with that much precision and intensity blew our collective minds. Riff after riff after riff was a joy to behold.

Favourite gig Romans have played this year:

There are few things in life more disappointing than looking in your rear view mirror, and seeing plumes of smoke piling out from your car on the way to a gig. Except maybe for waiting in the freezing cold on the hard shoulder for the AA to turn up and tell you your car is dead. Thankfully, all of this happened to us on our way to a show at the Maze in Nottingham. Still, we eventually got there, and ended up sandwiched between two bands who’d stolen their keys section off Duran Duran, and their breakdowns from Four Year Strong. Still, we went on, and ended up with our mics in the audience, and, despite a shortened set, enjoyed a really good fun punk show.
Thank You Romans and we can only wish you our support and good luck for next year, where we are sure more is to come !
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