Photo Credit: Izzie Austin
L-R: Justin Tawil (Bass), Dave Johnstone (Drums), Fergus Sinclair (Guitar), Alanna Oliver (Vocals), Adam Johnstone (Guitar)
Previous support for Romero: “[Romero].. are about to make a name for themselves worldwide” - NME 100
“If you love Sheer Mag’s glitzy take on dive bar punk, then check out new Australian band Romero.” - The FADER
“An exciting glimpse at what’s still to come” - DIY
“Think somewhere along the lines of Blondie meets The Strokes, and you’ll arrive at the sound of Australia’s newest up and coming musical exports.” - EUPHORIA
“If you’re not on board with Romero by now then get with it.” - So Young
Three years in the making, Melbourne’s power-pop group Romero announce their long-awaited debut album Turn It On! - a record for the lost souls at a fork in the road, and it will be released on 8th April via Feel it Records / Cool Death Records. Pre-order HERE.
Alongside the announcement comes the release of the title track ‘Turn It On!’ - finger-snapping swagger, and encouraged by a cheeky cowbell, it's a clear directive to head to the nearest dance floor, and turn it on. It comes with a dazzling video by Triana Hernandez (Amyl and the Sniffers, RVG, Gordi) that time travels you back to the glittering 80’s.
Singer Alanna Oliver reflects on the single: “I was watching a Debbie Harry [Blondie] documentary and one of the quotes was ‘she just gets on stage and she turns it on’. As soon as I heard this I paused it and started writing. The lyrics flowed effortlessly. It was such a simple idea to channel that inner power. When I sing this song I am now a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it."
Of the video, director Triana Hernandez comments, “[Turn It On] music video uses classic horror film techniques to create a visual world that's both eye candy and visceral. It's a playful representation of their live shows taking you into a fantasy world of shimmery disco and pop , whilst keeping the rock aspect alive on screen through the eyes of your classic uninterested pub punter at the gig. For me it was a pleasure to work with a band that has such minimal and elegant visual references, yet so rich and raw purely through its actual music and synergy on stage.”
Romero revel in ‘present-tense nostalgia’ throughout debut album Turn It On!; Alanna guides her soulful verses through shimmering, unforgettable riffs that master the sonics of heavy-hearted classics of the CBGBs era punk, glam and pop.
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.
On the album, Alanna says, “I guess at the time of writing Turn It On! I was spending a lot of time reminiscing on some of life’s adversity. Like.. my Auntie’s life that was coming to an end, some of my past lovers that are now strangers.. What's important in life? But instead of writing from a place of loss or pain or suffering, more often than not I was writing from a place of power. It was hard not to write from that place when all of a sudden you were singing about all this stuff with four guys who you hardly knew, in a rock'n'roll dungeon in Kew. It was liberating, electrifying and I knew in my heart I was finally where I was supposed to be.”
As a body of work Turn It On! refuses to keep the foot off the pedal with it’s air-pounding anthems of relatability via Alanna’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.
Having hastily sold out multiple pressings of their debut double-A side Honey / Neapolitan in 2019, Romero was identified as one to watch in the underbelly circles of mail-order punk. Their independently released 2020 follow up ‘Troublemaker’ drew praise from the FADER, DIY, and the NME 100, plus airplay on triple j, KEXP and NPR.
Turn It On! is out 8th April 2022 via Feel It Records / Cool Death Records Pre-order
Romero - Turn It On! - Out 8th April 2022 Tracklisting
1. Talk About It 2. Happy Hour 3. Honey 4. Crossing Lines 5. Turn It On! 6. Halfway Out The Door 7. Troublemaker 8. Petals 9. Neapolitan 10. White Dress 11. Things They Don’t Tell You