The Burning of Rome

The Burning of Rome

The Burning of Rome

With Us

Surfdog

The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life,” in all its epic, trippy, anxiety-inducing, obnoxious — yet insanely original — brilliance is the seed from which San Diego’s The Burning of Rome sprouted… at least that’s how their debut album, With Us leads the ear to believe.

Swirling, oozing sounds, audio clips from Little Shop of Horrors and electronic warbles transform themselves into indelible melodies — strangely pop-centric songs where guitars and drums dominate, but bump up against a spastic glockenspiel.

Birthed from the muddled mind of lead vocalist/keyboardist/producer Adam Traub, the dozen songs spinning on the airwaves (three remixed by Butthole Surfers) are as difficult to define as a butch softball player with a boyfriend. There are some easily digestible rock songs like “Wake Up Edamame,” “Cowboys & Cut Cigars,” and “The Universe if Made of Nonsense.” There are the artsier electro dance offerings like “Ballad Of An Onion Sprout” (which opens and closes the album) and the gypsy stomp of “Why Can’t I Stop Killing My Friends?” and “Island.” All are odd, but accessible.

…but then there’s “Norman Bates” — which starts with sweet, yet creepy, vocals over a head tipping piano groove, that soon battles for air with a Marilyn Manson-esque growl and yowl. Speaking of creepy, “Opus For Sleepwalking” is a bad acid trip through a haunted house, and it goes on and on for over six minutes… which is nothing, when compared to “Untitled.” Nothing short of 16 minutes of X-Files alien sound effects that are more of a psychological experiment to see how long someone will listen rather than an actual song.

Despite the moments of discomfort, this album (this band) sucks you into its web and locks you down like an eight hour chemically enhanced buzz.

The Burning of Rome: www.theburningofrome.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Comin’ At Ya!
    Comin’ At Ya!

    The Blu-ray reissue of Comin’ At Ya, a 1981 3D Spaghetti Western movie falls flat.

  • Bobby Rush
    Bobby Rush

    Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush ( Omnivore Recordings). Review by James Mann.

  • Geezër
    Geezër

    Geezër brought their old-school show all the way from their Miami rest home, and Julius C. Lacking thinks they were quite spry.

  • Bully
    Bully

    Bully greets Orlando with apathy and anger toward one of its theme parks. Jen Cray smiles and thinks, “Man, this band would have fit in well in the nineties!”

  • Luther Dickinson
    Luther Dickinson

    Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Conway
    Conway

    Big Talk EP (Self-Released). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Freakwater
    Freakwater

    Scheherazade (Bloodshot Records). Review by James Mann.

  • The Haymarket Squares
    The Haymarket Squares

    Light It Up. Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • Ani DiFranco
    Ani DiFranco

    Years pass, and so do our legends, but one constant remains: there are always artists living and breathing that are worth your time and attention. Ani DiFranco is a major one, according to Jen Cray and a whole legion of fans.

  • Javier Escovedo
    Javier Escovedo

    Kicked Out Of Eden (Saustex Media). Review by James Mann.

From the Archives