Firstly I’d like to thank everyone for the continued support for Red Label Reviews, especially during the inactivity due to my University studies. Thankfully, exams are now over, and I can get back into the swing of reviewing lots of brilliant content. Since we ended 2012 with an IndieMusicBus review, I thought it’d be fitting to start 2013 the same way, with their Band of the Month for January 2013 – Broken Romeo. Broken Romeo is an Alternative Rock band from Tucson, Arizona. The music they produce is diverse and draws on influences including everything from classic rock to contemporary bands. Broken Romeo was the 2011 Tammie winner in the Rock category and they have shared the stage with many National acts. In Oct 2011 Broken Romeo released an all new full length album called “Desperation Daze”, and I was thrilled to review some tracks for this album.
‘Mark of Cain’ was the first track I listened to and I immediately loved the great solo-like opening; it was something brilliant in establishing the rock feel, which was further emphasised through the introduction of Bass and drums later. I really liked how the verse somewhat used a call and response with the guitar; the plays with chords, then plays a melody alongside the vocals as the bass drops out. This was really innovative and sounded brilliant alongside the vocal line. I also quite liked how the harmonies in the chorus were in octaves, as this was something different but worked well. With the middle 8 section, I thought it was fantastic when the guitar chordal structure paralleled the vocal melody, and the Guitar solo also sounded brilliant, especially with effects.
‘One in a Million’ followed and I really liked how another different effect was used on the guitar, the time more of a wah-wah sound. The band sounded really tight together during the verse when everyone was playing the same rhythm; this was brilliant in reflecting the team work of the musicians. I particularly liked how the backing vocals were used instead to provide a counter melody rather than harmonies. This was a great use of variation between songs. The best two features of the song was yet another fantastic guitar solo and also the extremely tight and rhythmic ending; these were amazing to listen to.
I then listened to ‘Hallelujah’, and I loved the very soft and acoustic opening compared to the previous songs, the acoustic feel created even with an electric guitar. I also liked the use of synth, especially as it panned around my ears when listening to it. A good feature was how the second guitar echoed around at certain points in the song and also how the guitars were used as a response to the vocals, repeating the vocal melody. A sense of variation and forward progression was also evident in the second verse, as it became more rhythmic with more instruments. The Guitar solo was very soothing to listen to, as it used simple melodies and little movement yet is sounded fantastic. The best feature however was the final chorus, as it contrasted both the little and bigger instrumentation established previously, creating a great parallel.
‘Total Stranger’ was the penultimate track and I loved the very tight and rhythmic introduction. I also found it interesting as it started with a guitar melody, but it worked really well. Once again, the band was really tight when backing the vocalist throughout the verse. I also liked how the drum beat changed in the chorus and the song seemed slower, and alongside introduction of backing vocals, this was a great use of variation throughout the song. Also, the guitar solo was fantastic; it was very melodic in contrast to the very rhythmic and regimented backing of the band.
The final track I listened to ‘Raging Sea’, and I liked how the guitar sounded very different to the previous songs, sounding more like older pop songs. It began with a very nice guitar motif, which was quite soft and easy to listen to. I also liked how this motif somewhat continued as a counter melody over the vocals in the verse. Another great feature was the harmonies in the chorus and also the middle section which was again very regimented and tight with all the band members.
Listening to the music Broken Romeo has to offer was a great way to kick of the reviews of 2013! They have some great tunes and lots of fantastic features within their music; I highly recommend you check them out.
Contact details for Broken Romeo:
Thanks for reading this review and I hope you're all excited for future reviews. I will be putting out a few more reviews this week and then will be publishing one or two a week from then on.
Thanks and take care! Tom