If you think you've got Romans already sussed because they wear 'While She Sleeps' and 'The Ghost Of A Thousand' tops, then you're dead wrong. Whereas the expectation might be they will play high octane hardcore, or else deal in heavy-hitting metalcore, in reality the Birmingham quartet have instead created a modern take on rock 'n' roll which isn't afraid to wear its influences on its sleeve (or chest, as the case may be). Their sound would be difficult to categorise (hardcore and roll, perhaps?) but it's far more rewarding to listen to them than it is to try and label them.
One thing you can expect from Romans is the unexpected. The band don't seem to follow any fixed formula, and their willingness to experiment is refreshing. Gang vocals on 'Coffee' and the raspy roars on 'Something Biblical' help to roughen up the edges of their sound, and throw some more abrasive elements into the mix, making the band an unpredictable yet exciting prospect. On 'Barriers', the acoustic guitar creates an eerie ambience, and the slightly hushed vocal delivery is enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Their clever use of dynamics and slight shifts in style is a breath of fresh air at a time where most bands prefer to stick to a formula in place of experimenting with their sound, and should have listeners hooked on the first listen.
That's not to say that Romans don't know how to write a quality straight-up rock tune. 'Rome Sweet Rome' might start out with some very stop-start guitar work, but features a chorus that should have fans singing along as opposed to being in awe of their technical prowess. The aforementioned 'Something Biblical' might also be slightly more diverse than your average rock-radio track, but it is equally as catchy; Romans have succeeded in gaining instant appeal without compromising their sound in the slightest, and of this they should be proud.
It's a shame that the running time of this EP comes in at just a tad over 17 minutes, because the quality shown here could easily have been stretched over 10 tracks and still be better than most bands' debut releases. However, with the quality distilled down to 4 tracks (and a brilliant, yet unsettling acoustic outro) the band have ensured that they have the best possible foundations on which to build their career, and with material as good as this so early on in their career, their future should be a very bright one indeed. Watch this space, people.