ROMERO’s debut full length Turn It On! is an exhilarating burst of hard hitting, punk-laced power-pop that tips its hat to the classics (The Nerves, Blondie, Thin Lizzy) whilst remaining fresh amongst the modern-day punk landscape. The Melbourne band’s debut 7’’ ‘Honey / Neapolitan’ was a forceful one-two punch of a double A-side which sold out across multiple pressings, was lauded locally before swooning the underground press abroad. Follow-up single ‘Troublemaker’, garnered further attention from the wider-reaching music media (NPR, NME, KEXP, Fader) and solidified the group as one to watch. If the earlier singles were an invitation, Turn It On! is the memorable party, steeped in twist-like dancing, deep and meaningful chats with strangers, air-shredding in the middle of the dancefloor, lover’s tiffs and wrong decisions culminating in a prophetic realisation that these indeed are ‘the days’. Turn It On! is due out April 8 via Cool Death Records in AUS & Feel It Records in US/EU.
Turn It On! refuses to keep the foot off the pedal with it’s air-pounding anthems of relatability via Alanna Oliver’s shining soul-trained vocal delivery. Thematically the record deals with endlessly restarting, mulling over the unsaid, resisting controlling forces in a deteriorating relationship, and the emotional strain of uncertainty. Whilst being bereft of a clear direction in a twenty-something existence, this see-sawing experience of life mirrors the sonic/emotive shifts of ‘Turn It On!’ to offer hope and pure optimism for what’s on the other side of this spell. Elsewhere the sharp Andrew ‘Idge’ Hehir production (recorded and mixed at Soundpark Studios in Northcote over 2019-2021) catapults the duelling yet complimentary Adam Johnstone or and Fergus Sinclair guitar-play to the very front. Meanwhile nothing is lost on the unique, intertwined rhythm of the Dave Johnstone (Drums) and Justin Tawil (Bass) STAX RECORDS-like grooves. ROMERO waste no time in displaying the shimmering unity of all their parts on the butterflies-inducing opener ‘Talk About It’ which explodes like a new-years firework, swinging listeners into a thrilling cascade of melodic guitar leads played at a neck breaking RAMONES-y pace, before the vocal melody really applies the defibrillators. The sonic differences in each of these 11 tracks showcases the long list of influences and collaborative songwriting chops that ROMERO possesses. Title track ‘Turn It On!’ moves your body towards the dancefloor with it’s Debbie Harry swagger and cowbell-pounding energy that crescendos towards an powerful guitar solo. Meanwhile ‘Halfway Out The Door’ and ’White Dress’ bring ROMERO into ballad territory with soaring choruses and a focus on dynamics.
As described by drummer Dave, the band found purpose and a nurturing collective outlet for their individual voices when they formed in 2019 – “I think everyone was a bit lost in their own way before we started, not sure what to do next…” Decisions, indecision, longing, anxiety; these sentiments echo the pounding excitement for change, which is the fundamental focus of the Turn It On! party. The decade-long Johnstone Brothers & Justin Tawil songwriting partnership needed a new direction, new players. The invitation of Alanna Oliver and Fergus Sinclair into their close-knit circle established the glowing sense of familiarity prevalent throughout Turn It On! No matter what crossroads you may face, ROMERO invites you to find a sense of home with this record.For tour dates and more visit: www.romeroband.com/