Power Pop has always been an island, a demilitarised zone where folks can lay down their arms, and join hands around the hook; a chimera of positivity and nervous energy created to provide some type of solace in a humourless and cold world.
Melbourne’s Romero wholeheartedly encapsulate this with their first outing “Honey”, a double A-side that takes its cues from the heavy hearted heavyweights of 70’s-80’s Punk and Power Pop, all the while flipping the script just enough to make it sound like 2020. Guitars shimmer and give off a brassy shine beneath bass lines that drive the hooks, while the drumming lays the bedrock (and roll) for show stealing vocals which really conjure up that old soul frenzy like not many others. It’s simply unreal how well Romero carry themselves this early in the piece.
At this point it’s pretty pointless mentioning who else they sound like; why waste time trainspotting when you can be raging in your room, tearing it up with a big dumb grin plastered across your face? Shouting along to the chorus until you’re hoarse because it hits that one bone in your tired, apathetic body that can still feel the amount of joy required to remove you, if only for a second, from a world that’s trying to hold you back.
‘’Honey’’ is a record for the freaks and geeks alike. Hell, it’s for anybody that needs to be picked up and reminded that’s it’s not all completely terrible.
Our take: This single is the debut release from this new band out of Melbourne, Australia, and it has “next big thing” written all over it. The two bands Romero reminds me of most are Sheer Mag and Royal Headache. Just like when I checked out those bands, the first time I listened to this single I couldn’t tell if I liked it or hated it. On the second listen, though, I had to surrender and acknowledge that I love this. “Honey” is a monster track with huge guitar hooks building to even bigger vocal hooks. It has a soulful garage vibe that is, again, very similar to Royal Headache, but with added heft to the production and playing. The b-side, “Neapolitan,” is also great. The way the lead guitar snakes around the chorus’s vocal melody reminds me of the first Strokes album, which is a very good thing. If this band can put out an album anywhere near this good, they will be inescapable. And I will love it.