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The webzine, Nemesis To Go, has got a review of The Static Murmur
"It's not easy to get a handle on Rome Burns. The cover art makes The Static Murmur look like a prog-rock concept album, while the band's MySpace page describes the band as 'Alternative/Electro/Post-Punk'. Yet I'd wager the post punks and alternokids have never heard of Rome Burns, for they ply their trade exclusively within the UK goth scene. That's a nice pile of contradictions right there, and we haven't even got to the music yet.
So, let's get to the music. Recondite, wordy lyrics spread themselves luxuriously over a densely-packed thicket of guitars and programming. It's a very English experience, in a way. Simon Sartori Hendley's dry, erudite vocal style - he practially lectures his way through the songs, rather than singing them - casts him as the intellectual cousin of New Order's Bernard Sumner, striding to and fro as he declaims upon the lecture hall podium. The music fits the comparison, too. 'Then Janus' is perhaps the best example of the band's beefed-up New Order feel, with its masses of solid guitars buttressing the to-and-fro melody. Extra points for the line 'Cork and flax and sealing wax' - a typically Rome Burns-ish reference, redolent of archaic detail. It's at times like this, when the band let their engagingly un-rock 'n' roll side come to the fore, that they really score.
Elsewhere, the band's station within goth circles is revealed by the traditional thwap-and-splat of the Really Obvious Drum Machine, still the universal signifier of goth scene residency, while the fizzing, pulsating electronic embellishments - hear them sprinkle themselves over 'The Escapologist' and 'Bodhidharma' - hint that Rome Burns have at least half an eye on getting some Cyber Dancefloor Action. I can't help wondering what Rome Burns would sound like if you put 'em in a studio with a plain old pop producer, and, dare I say it, de-gothed them to the point where their engagingly odd, literate, band persona really came to the fore. All due respect to Manuskript's Mike Uwins, who's on the desk here - he does a sterling job, but as the main man of a goth band himself I think he instinctively defaults to the Goth Scene Way Of Doing Things.
But then, so do the band. The bizarre heavy metal guitar which gatecrashes the party on 'Rebecca Eureka' and spends the song having a punch-up with the cheesy drum machine definitely sounds like someone's trying for a touch of Goth Metal Crossover, and that just isn't a box into which Rome Burns naturally fit. Likewise, the programmed beat-workout that stutters and thumps behind 'Allegiance Lies' sounds like its reference point is the Slimelight dancefloor rather than pop music. The song needs a simple arrangement, prodding the verse neatly up to that nifty tension-release chorus, rather than an excess of chuck-it-all-in electro-clutter.
Rome Burns are a intriguingly indiosyncratic pop group. They're the New Order who stayed in to do their English Literature homework instead of partying at the Hacienda; they're an urban, urbane XTC. Tantalising hints of all this appear on this album, but it's a struggle against the production. And also, perhaps, against the band's own perception of themselves, despite their MySpace dissembling, as just another bunch of goth scene rockers. They could be - they are - more than merely that. Someone should tell 'em. Perhaps I just have."
-Uncle Nemesis 2009
Sent on 28 09 10 - 12:51 , via online casino