THE ROMANS "EL DIABLO"
(Oyster Records 1998 - Oyster 002)
Songs (click on the -icons
for audio) 1.
3. One Dirty Feather
4. Choose Eleven
5. Someone New
6. Top Of The World
7. Gary Bump
8. Nosebleed Blues Therapy
9. Love in D Minor
10. Sleighride Hill
11. Space Girl
12. Not The End of Pop Music
- Laurens Leurs : Vocals & Guitar
- Frank Coonen : Drums & Percussion
- Chris Leurs : Bass & Backing vocals
- Staf Verbeeck (keyboards) Paul Clinck, Kuniko Nagata, Cecil Vidal (strings),
Eric Mertens (flute), Luc Verdonck (bassoon), Lukke De Graaf (mandolin)
Production : Staf Verbeeck
Recorded at Jet Studio, Brussels, Spring 1998
With "EL DIABO" (their 5th album) The Romans are once again off to
a flying start with fresh courage and a new label (Oyster Records).
The Romans... Do we even have to introduce them !?
Wel ok, very briefly then: Trio (Laurens Leurs - Frank Coonen - Chris Leurs),
from Maaseik (Belgium), Humo's Rock Rally-finalist (Silver in '88) and very good
at what they are performing (powerpop with guitars, melody and chorus). "Get
to know them and see them growing between The Beatles and Motörhead, between
Maaseik and Beverly Hills", a journalist from a leading weekly wrote.
That growth proceeds itself on the new CD "EL DIABLO", recorded at
the Brussels' Jet Studios in the spring of '98 under the guidance of producer
Staf Verbeek (who worked previously with Metal Molly, The Scene, Tribe and dEUS).
The Romans won't turn the world topsy-turvy with "EL DIABLO" but
will continue to operate in an area marked out by The Beatles, The Posies, Hüsker
Dü and their likes, that is: a zone with craftfully constructed popsongs
filled to the brim with keen vocals and pronounced melodies that stick to your
mind like chewing gum.
An independent daily talked like an oracle two years ago: "If they would've
had Minneapolis on their birth certificate, they'd probably be a lot more famous."
And right they are!
But The Romans don't let it go to their heart, as their primary concern is
not 'becoming famous' but writing songs with a capital 'S'.
They already did that succesfully in the past with their CDs 'BALL & CHAIN
('89 vinyl), 'TRIGGER HAPPY' ('90), 'MAJOR PANIC' ('93), 'BE MY STAR' ('96) and
presently again with their 'EL DIABLO' !
Or as they describe it themselves in the last song on "EL DIABLO"
: "This is not the end of pop music".
- Stage, January 1998: "It's simply amazing how the Romans keep
on doing "their thing" with the obstinacy of farmers & shopkeepers.
Who gives a damn, they do it, and they do it well. ... A "Someday
Cindy" is not on this album, but the songs are of a very consistent quality
and compete in radio-friendliness."
- Humo. Fons "Zen" Deluxe in a letter to the editor : "In
the popular series "how to butcher a belgian band", it was The Romans'
turn last week. Sorry chaps, your credit's used up. Did the reviewer have a miserable
day, or did he put his copy in the microwave instead of his cd-player ? According
to JUB, the Romans have been trying to copy "Zen Arcade" of Hüsker
Dü for the past ten years. Hello ?! Did you ever listen to "Zen Arcade".
A wonderful album, that's not the issue here, but the Romans have been going in
other directions for years now ..."
- Teek (December 1998) : "Although the sound of the group is still
somewhat "flatter" on cd than on stage, this is absolutely no step backwards,
but an honest attempt to keep rock in '98 alive. Naïve ? Maybe. But certainly
- RifRaf (11/98) "Let's get the bull by the horns : this is a record
to put in a golden frame ... almost all the tracks on 'El Diablo' are a potential
candidates for the Afrekening ... Those who are fed up with the arty-farty tingle-tangle
music that has been made in this stupid country for the past few years, will indulge
themselves hearing this little gem"
- Financieel Economische Tijd (my my, do they also pay attention to culture
? If it sells.) : "with 'El Diablo' they take a second departure on a
new record label. Their well-known formula of fresh guitarpop and polyphonic,
catchy choruses isn't showing any signs of wearing out ..."
Did you see a good (or bad) review of the album ? Send
it to me !
The newest cd of The Romans has been playing for about three hours now, on
endless repeat + random play. This is the so-called overkill-method : the songs
that still catch your attention after three or four spins must be the good ones.
A few early candidates have dropped behind, and mostly so "Love in D Minor",
a monstrosity that was launched as the first single. Meanwhile however, there's
also "Space Girl" out on CDS, a much
better ambassador for this piece of fine work called "El Diablo".
On stage they are about the most tightly-knit company that I've witnessed (I saw
the for the first time in Ghent, where they opened up in front of Iggy Pop, it
must've been '90 or '91). Still, they've always managed to put that live-spirit
on their records reasonably well. On "El Diablo" it is no different,
but there are a few songs that have received a bit more "treatment".
In an interview with "Het Belang Van Limburg", one of the Leurs-brothers
said that it's about time to make a double Romans-compilation, one with the singles,
one with "personal favourites". Although the best material would also
fit on one CD, I still think it would be a good idea, because it will become clear
that the Romans have been putting together a string of classic songs over the
last 10 years. On "El Diablo" there are in my opinion only three new
classics ("Gary Bump", "Space
Girl" and "Not the end of Pop Music"),
yet stíll it's not a bad album.
And your opinion?
Did I get it all wrong, or was I spot-on ? Do you want to share your opinion about
this cd ? Send it in, and I'll put it up here !
More about this group :
- The Romans have had a place on this site
since the very beginning.
- The official home on the web is located at www.theromans.com.
- Oyster Records, their ambitious record
firm has a nicely designed website.
- Booking : L&S Agency, Postbus 5, Sint-Truiden,
Belgium. Tel : +32/11/67.17.01, Fax : +32/11/67.33.31 or email at email@example.com
Where to buy this CD ?
You can order this CD from a number of locations (prices researched on Janyary
4th, 1999, but nothing guarantees they still are the same when you read this).
The Lowest price is in yellow, the highest in red. This price comparison doesn't
take things into account like deduction of shipping expenses when ordering more
than 1 cd, bonus points, differences in guarantees ... Shipping prices are those
for customers in Belgium.
Have you seen this record elsewhere, do you own a CD-shop with Belgian products
in it, or if there's something wrong with my calculations : let
Watch it : This site pays royalties, and was built and maintained in
accordance with the terms and conditions negotiated with SABAM,
the Belgian society of copyright-holders. Consultation of this site is free, but
this exludes downloading, reproducing or public performance of any part of this
site. Please do not copy. Link!