New Roman Times
On The Sleeve
I sense a great deal of guitar on this record; it somehow dominates the drumming and the singing. It’s not great guitar, but competent and compelling and somehow trapped into a small tonal range, longing to escape to big hair metal fireworks. Alas, it may not get that opportunity — it feels trapped in a small town in rural Minnesota and destined to marry early and take over dad’s plumbing business. New Roman Times (who actually prefer Arial on their CD cover) play well enough but I keep waiting for something exciting to happen with this trio from Austin and Orlando. This album of constricted pop sounds like a Shoegazer band trying to open up and have fun, but somehow they never take the chance. Vocals are split between the guitarist (Daniel Owens) and bassist (Josie Flurie) — he sounds earnest; she’s breathy and not heard often enough for my tastes. New Roman Times is probably killer in a small club on 6th Street or Orange Ave, but they need something more to step up to possible Assistant Greatness.