Naarm/Melbourne’s power pop group Romero have today released the melancholic epic ‘Halfway Out The Door’, the second single from their upcoming debut album Turn It On! A soulful 70s ballad with a hat tip to J Mascis and Memphis, ‘Halfway’ exemplifies the thematic fork in the road prevalent throughout the record. Of the song Alanna Oliver reflects ‘I dated this guy on and off for years, who wouldn’t leave me but wouldn’t exactly love me either. Halfway is written about him and my eventual commitment to myself.’ Her vocals soar throughout the chorus as she proclaims: ‘If this isn’t what you want baby / don’t come knocking, knocking, knocking, knocking’. The new single comes alongside announcements of their album launch show and performances with CHAI (Japan) and Gang of Youths. Turn It On! will be released on April 8 via Cool Death Records and Feel It Records.
The new music is accompanied by mesmerising visuals courtesy of Megan O’Keefe, depicting a highly saturated suburban Melbourne romance. Of the video O’Keefe states “Dave [drums] had a strong vision and pushed to use my mum’s old Panasonic camcorder to film this video. It makes for a more authentic storyline and the aesthetic of this footage was really fun to play with in the edit. This is an emotional song, the ‘flashback’ footage helps convey that. This video is a beautiful chaos, take from it what you will.”
As a body of work Turn It On! refuses to keep the foot off the pedal with its air-pounding anthems of relatability via Oliver’s shining vocal delivery. Mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring) and engineered by Andrew ‘Idge’ Hehir at Soundpark Studios in Northcote, the sharp production catapults the duelling yet complimentary guitar-play to the very front. Meanwhile nothing is lost on the unique, intertwined rhythm and STAX RECORDS–like bass grooves. Thematically, the record deals with endlessly restarting, mulling over the unsaid, resisting controlling forces in a deteriorating relationship, and the emotional strain of uncertainty. The see-sawing experience of life mirrors the sonic and emotive shifts of Turn It On! to offer a fluid sense of home, hope and pure optimism for what’s on the other side of this spell.
Romero was identified as one to watch in the underbelly circles of mail-order punk, selling out multiple pressings of their debut double-A side ‘Honey / Neapolitan’ in 2019. Their independently released 2020 follow up ‘Troublemaker’ landed them placement in NME 100 and airplay on triple j, KEXP and NPR. Their debut headline show in Melbourne was quoted as ‘”one of the greatest concerts that this writer has seen in years” by The Music. The hotly anticipated announcement of Turn It On! drew support internationally from the likes of Pitchfork, FADER and Stereogum. Having teamed up with some of the last bastions of DIY punk, Cool Death & Feel It Records, Romero’s debut stands alongside cherished modern classics by Low Life,Tyrannamen, Sweeping Promises and POWER.