Album Review: Romans – -=+(Less is More)

image‘Less is More’ is the debut LP from Romans and finally follows up their 2012 EP after three years of extensive live work supporting the likes of Mallory Knox. The British rockers seem to be aiming for an upbeat melodic rock sound with a positive summery vibe, not dissimilar to Reef, and have succeeded to some extent on ten tracks, curiously all taking people’s names.

There are a number of autobiographical hard rocking numbers like ‘Richard’, ‘Philipp’ and ‘Gio’ which are all pretty hooky and show a variety of riffs and arrangements that hint at hit-making potential. ‘Paul’ is much more restrained however, with atmospheric picking and a rich guitar sound at the climax, showing that there is some depth on offer here. In fact there is a lot of nice guitar work on display, especially on ‘Mary’ which possesses an ear catching solo.

Obviously there are going to be a few throwaway tracks like ‘Leigh’ and ‘Vick’, but they would probably fill a live set quite nicely. Even so, when you hear accomplished songs like the multi-faceted ‘Ray’, which really showcases all aspects of the band’s talent, you have to think they could grow into something interesting.

Nevertheless, I guess this self-released album does show where the band are lacking, and it’s financially. They obviously have talent, they write good songs and the “less is more” ethic is very admirable, but when it comes to sound engineering, more is more – it stops you from sounding like a really good pub band, which, at the moment, Romans are, although there is enough on offer here to suggest they could be so much more.


’- = +’ by Romans is out now.

Romans links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)


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