Romero: Turn It On! Album Review


Romero’s Alanna Oliver spent her article-collegiate a long time touring Victoria, Australia, with a Blues Brothers tribute band, masking the likes of Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner, doused in far more than a very little little bit of camp. This portion of her origin story is a significantly cry from the scuzzy Melbourne rock scene that her bandmates—Fergus Sinclair, Justin ‘Murry’ Tawil, and brothers Adam and Dave Johnstone—came up in. But that factor of virtuosity is also what would make them stand out in a neighborhood the place angle is as critical as talent.

The seem of Romero’s debut album, Flip It On, feels like a collection of reference points, from the relentless generate of Royal Headache’s power pop to Thin Lizzy’s squealing solos, or even the vintage production consequences of the Strokes, experienced they been born in Dunedin, New Zealand. But their closest analogue is Sheer Mag: Their crunchy guitar tones audio divided at delivery, and they’re each referential, throwback rock bands whose charismatic singers at times have them to times of transcendence. Fantastic taste would make even the most devout reverence additional palatable, and Switch It On! plays to their strengths. There is a gratifying crackle to Adam Johnstone and Fergus Sinclair’s alternative in amplifiers, pickups, and pedals, and engineer Andrew ‘Idge’ Hehir spots them in a dueling stereo combine, their loud, lo-fi tones battling across the left and right channels.

It’s hard to understate the rejuvenating effect Oliver experienced on the rest of the band. Drummer Dave Johnstone and guitarist Adam Johnstone had turn into disillusioned with Melbourne’s scene and had been on their way out when they satisfied her. Their previous bands, Chillers and Summer season Blood, were being both of those jangly garage rock outfits additional consultant of what you may listen to at the Tote, the Melbourne venue at the heart of an independent rock scene that venerates the punk and power pop of the 1970s and ’80s. These had been great bands, but they lacked some thing that was tough to place a finger on—at minimum right up until they fulfilled Oliver. She wasn’t just removed from the scene—she was fairly unfamiliar with rock tunes in normal.

That outsider POV is what tends to make Romero seem contemporary inspite of the vintage palette, an injection of earnest enthusiasm and pomp that shoots these songs into the stratosphere. Oliver’s subject issue is mostly drawn from men and women in her lifetime, like the non-committal ex-boyfriend in “Halfway Out the Door” or her neat auntie in “Neapolitan.” Other lyrics offer a glimpse into how she approaches her overall performance. “Turn It On” is impressed by a remark about Blondie’s Debbie Harry from a documentary—“She just will get on phase and she turns it on”—and though their voices couldn’t be additional diverse, the result they have on their bands is identical. Oliver can ooze heartache and attitude with equal aplomb, pursuing a soaring vocal operate on “Halfway Out the Door” with a cocky strut on the title keep track of. “Turn It On!” is Romero at its most fun—dialing up the camp and cowbell, leaning into “hoo-hoo” harmonies that drop somewhere amongst a smile and a sneer.

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