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new roman times

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
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"int'l affairs review"

new roman times strike with the kind of angularly danceable music that has made both Q and not U and Enon household name the gated community of indie rock; like those bands, they haven't forgotten that strong melodies, stronger rhytyms and electric guitars are still the essential elements of just about anything worth hearing more than once, with the intermittent application of digital sounds keeping things interesting.  at best, the trade-off boy/girl vocals recall punk for grownups of Versus or the Pixies.....
- under the radar


"int'l affair review"

It’s pretty easy to find bands with dueling male/female vocals who draw comparisons to X and Sonic Youth from unimaginative writers. It’s another thing entirely to find a band who deserves such association past the guy/girl vocal thing. New Roman Times is of the latter sort of band.

While International Affairs earns the nod toward the male/female all-star list because of the one-two vocal punch of Josie Fluri and Dan Owens, New Roman Times has more in common with the aforementioned rockers than just a bi-gendered vocal assault. In fact, with a style that bucks easy “recommended if you like” comparisons, International Affiars shows glimpses of the inventive streak that made Sonic Youth, X and The Pixies so important (and handy) references in the first place.

New Roman Times isn’t as staggeringly creative as those bands, of course, but that doesn’t stop it from shaking up a few long-held conceptions about independent rock. Picking up the same sort of keyboard that have become the tres chic badge of distinction in the dance-punk revival, New Roman Times aims them in a completely different direction. Instead of the kitsch-crippled old-new-wave noise, International Affairs puts washes of synth-pop over the jagged, acute melodies of D.C.-styled post-hardcore. It’s enough to win the Orlando, Fla. band enough space upon which to homestead and raise a few head of cattle. Fans of Sonic Youth and Fugazi alike will agree upon “Dis-Viscount,” which wrestles with pointed guitar leads and swooshes of keyboard melodies. Although “The Patient” features easygoing programming and Owens’ indie-kid flatlined delivery, gorilla-sized beats pound through the melodies to constantly remind listeners that New Roman Times is a band that knows how to rock. If that’s not enough to convince anyone of the band’s rock quotient, “French Prison Haricut” features a bit of vocal give-and-take that suggests Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, plus a searing guitar solo. Likewise, the distorted vocals on “Consequences,” which sound like a Dalek singing karaoke through a moving fan blade, are anything but chic and cutesy.

Along the way, the band takes a few odd detours. Sometimes they satisfy while they puzzle: “Reversion Therapy” relaxes the band’s punchy demeanor for a track that saddles up next to slick indie pop. Other experiments, such as the synth-heavy “Absolute Beginners,” get too slippery in a sea of K-Y electronic melodies that reduce the friction that makes most of International Affairs so exciting.

Nonetheless, New Roman Times shows it’s able to keep up with the post-hardcore and pop trends without catering to either one. That alone should make International Affairs worth checking out, and the act’s ability to squeeze melodies into a four-on-the-floor rocker won’t hurt either.

- aversion.com


"int'l affair review"

Not to be confused with Camper Van Beethoven last album, or the font, New Roman Times is a 5-piece from Orlando, and their debut record International Affairs is the first release on Florida-based Social recordings. The label has picked a cracker to start with. Although it’s not always the case, the list of bands NRT has supported-Death Cab For Cutie, Cursive, Rainer Maria, The Rapture and VHS or Beta-does provide a good idea of their sound. NRT definitely has that slightly idiosyncratic yet seductively-accessible thing down pat. The band manages to craft arty-but not annoying-indie melodies and sing heartfelt, often bleak songs about love and life that never sound contrived. Vocalists Josie Fluri and Dan Owens play off each other with the lyrical fluidity of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, and it works so well on tracks like “A Scene From the Disco Era” and the fantastic opener “Reversion Therapy” that it’s nothing short of moving. But the band is never sentimental for sentiment’s sake, and that’s what makes it so damn charming. International Affairs’ lyrics and sound have an inherent purity that’s as rare as it is welcome. - nylon


"int'l affair review"

Florida's New Roman Times may be the missing link between T-shirted indie rockers and slightly more angular post-punks. Spindly post-rock guitar lines and traded boy/girl vocals bounce atop a bed of dance-friendly beats as the earnest search for true love continues.
- download.com


"int'l affairs"

Poetic melodies, affected danceable drum beats, and a sensation of seamless cool makes New Roman Times “International Affairs” on Social Recordings an ear full of fun. Dan Owens and Josie Fluri (formerly of the Denver band Register) have gone south, but their music certainly has not. Now based in Orlando, Florida, New Roman Times stayed busy in 2004, playing dates with Death Cab for Cutie, Cursive, and VHS or Beta. Catchy lyrics and Kim Deal styled backbeat are making a big splash with the thriving/ post-punk listeners. New Roman Times is in the same orbit as bands like The Pixies and Sonic Youth, so if great music is your of thing International Affairs is certainly worth a listen. - image


"international affairs"

Dan Owens and Josie Fluri were in the angular rock outfit Register before departing Denver for Orlando and creating New Roman Times. International Affairs still has an early-'90s indie sensibility -- harsh guitars often ring alongside tension wire melodies -- but New Roman Times always work to craft a more dynamic sound. They integrate keyboard and electronic percussion add-ons, use Fluri's calming vocal as a foil to Owens' hyper upper-register wail, and keep the songs structurally unpredictable. "Absolute Beginners," for example, is a jagged sort of ballad -- giant drums crash and alter speed as the guitars uncover urgency in the spiny progression and Owens works through a relationship in the second person. Modest Mouse feels like a touchstone for this and other tracks on International Affairs ("Reversion Therapy"; "Consequences"). But this is because both groups like to keep their melodies challenging. "Dis-Viscount" has a standard punchy backbeat, but Owens' voice echoes ever higher to drive it to a unique place. Fluri takes the lead for the first half of the elastic, gently layered "Going Away Gift," while on "Scene From the Disco Era" she plays off Owens and a great arrangement that suggests vintage Archers of Loaf. Overall it's a solid debut for New Roman Times. They understand that hooks are always just a terse guitar lick away. - allmusic


"int'l affairs"

After countless opening slots on other bands' tours, Orlando's New Roman Times finally makes the move from supporting act to headliner. The foursome's last trip to South Florida was courtesy of indie darlings Death Cab for Cutie in 2004. NRT's brand of indie rock weighs tuneful pop hooks with inventive arrangements. On its only album, International Affairs, verses are plaintively shared in a back-and-forth exchange between vocalists Josie Fluri and Dan Owens (who play bass and guitar, respectively). The minimalist snare-and-bass-drum beats add a subtle new-wave touch as well. If you're thinking NRT's a modern-day Pixies, you're not too far off. - broward new times


"int'l affairs review"

Orlando, Florida isn’t exactly known for an explosive indie rock scene, but New Roman Times is determined to make its mark regardless. With pulsating, danceable beats and slightly crunchy, head-bobbing melodies, the five-piece sounds like a mix of Death Cab for Cutie (who they supported on tour at one point) and Pinback with a biting edginess and maybe a dash of electronica.
Dan Owens fronts the band with longtime collaborator/wife Josie Fluri. Owens has a pleasing, albeit quavery voice, sounding vaguely similar to the recently disbanded Mcluskey (whose 2004 release The Difference Between Me and You is That You Are on Fire wins the award for best album title of 2004). But, the real treat is the back-and-forth vocals between Fluri and Owens. (Also, if you’re a fan of Brian Jonestown Massacre, check out Fluri’s guest vocals on “If Love is the Drug Than I Want to O.D.”). On “A Scene from the Disco Era,” pounding drum beats and floating, layered guitars interlock with Fluri’s ethereal, intimate voice as she responds to Owens’s dance floor requests: “Hold me in your arms / (so we can be free) / but there’s a chance I’ll take that it could be you / (your ways mean so decided).” Pixies and Sonic Youth references are sometimes made too freely when referring to male/female vocal combinations, but New Roman Times deserves the comparison.

After a thorough listening of International Affairs, the previous history of the band makes sense. Owens has a breakdancing past and keyboardist Melissa Parker DJs in her spare time, both of which explain the blend of dance beats with indie rock. Most of the tracks have a healthy mix of programmed beats and natural drum sounds. In a couple spots, though, the songs suffer from a bit too much effect, such as on “Consequences,” in which Fluri’s vocals are barely recognizable because of the heavy effect on her voice. “The Patient” could also use some more melody development and a little less programmed noise. The best songs on the disc emphasize guitars and vocals textured with subtle electronic flavors, not the other way around.

Some of the songs border on impossible to understand, but are just poetic enough to work with the music. On “Absolute Beginners,” Owens and Fluri muse: “Insects in a room / cry out for nothing else / I’ll be there, don’t you worry, I’ll come quick, I’ll be there in a hurry / Insects in a room/ cry out for nothing else / I’ll be there soon, don’t you worry, I’ll come quick to help you.” I have no idea what that means. But, it sure does sound good with the throbbing drumbeat and in-your-face guitars.

International Affairs is the first release from Social Recordings, a brand new label and offshoot of Orlando concert venue The Social (which Fluri manages). With a national distribution deal, big things could be on the way for New Roman Times and Social Recordings. JOEL OLIPHANT
- sound the sirens


"On The Sleeve Review"

Eighties inspired indie rock. Think Pixies meets Joy Division by way of Interpol
New Roman Times clearly draw influence from a lot of great bands. Listening to their new album ?On The Sleeve? I can pick out elements of the Pixies, Interpol and Joy Division as well as the more contemporary vibes of The Killers or a less grandiose Arcade Fire. They are a name I have heard a lot, and have gotten confused with the upcoming Times New Viking, which is easily done amongst all the font name mayhem. New Roman Times consists of Daniel Owen on guitar and vocals, Josie Flurie on bass and vocals, Harrris Thurmond on on guitar and synths and Mike Allen on drums. They hail from Austin and Orlando and they make very good pop music.



?On The Sleeve? as an album is a great contribution to modern pop music. It mixes the eighties version of emotive rock with the contemporary sound that is often captured by modern indie bands. Their shared boy/girl vocals add an interesting dimension to their sonic presentation. The guitar sound is reminiscent of Interpol and compliments the vibe of New Roman Times well. As well as the bands I mentioned above, New Roman Times slot in perfectly amongst modern bands such as Giant Drag, Metric and The National. They make pop inspired alternative rock meets post punk, with a more mature and well rounded sound that a lot of bands who fit a similar description. ?On The Sleeve? as an album is sexy, contemporary and fascinating whilst still managing to nod its head to whole other eighties inspired sound whilst keeping the sound matured and straying away from the over the top nonsense that a lot of other eighties infused bands create. Kudos. - http://www.subba-cultcha.com/


"On The Sleeve Review"

“Smoke in Your Disguise” opens up On the Sleeve in all its new wave glory. While it’s not particularly happy music, it’s not particularly dark either. The song is paced like a typical track from The Killers and strings along the basic “you are, you’re breaking my heart” type story. Like early ’80s post-punk, it’s partially meant to make you dance and partially meant to make you sulk. The debut album from New Roman Times is one of those that remind us the music of the ’80s never really goes away. There will always be bands whose John Hughes movie melody in hindsight will remind us how cool of a time that decade was.

Currently based out of Austin, New Roman Times is lead by Daniel Owens on vocals and guitar. Providing the seductive backing vocals (some of the best moments on the album) is the token pretty girl bassist Josie Fluri. The band is rounded out with Mike Allen on drums and Harris Thurmond on guitar and synths.

Even the second track’s title suggests the days of cassette tapes and lip gloss. “VCR” is also one many moments during On the Sleeve that will give the listener a vision of Interpol — that is minus Paul Banks doing his Ian Curtis impression. Lyrically it does make a darker turn from the opener. “And as the sun rolls on we will never belong to this bitter age,” Owens resentfully sings before Fluri’s faint voice joins him for, “But to what we are, someone else.” Paranoia, new wave guitars, and echoing vocals collide for one of the albums highlights.

Those elements reappear in “Belle De Jour;” a love song to a mystery woman who “walks alone in the city after dark, reaching out for love.” Fluri’s quiet vocal is strongly utilized as the ghost voice of the song’s title character and adds a haunting effect to emphasize the theme. The rapid drum breakdown at the bridge builds tension and provides sufficient movement.

The remainder of On the Sleeve doesn’t stray far from the working formula. “West End World” sports a catchy hook and amped synths. “Secret and Lies” benefits from the dual harmony of Owens and Fluri opening the song. The closer “Young Hearts” has the lead man donning the tortured soul by going with a spoken vocal for his verses.

While not breaking any barriers, New Roman Times still built an album that can be listened from beginning to end without the need to skip around. It plays like good driving music. Much like The Killers, Interpol, White Lies and other post-punk/new wave revivalists, the tunes of New Roman Times can send you dancing to the rhythm or soul searching through the lyrics. On the Sleeve is a solid effort that warrants solid attention. - stereosubversion.com


"On The Sleeve Review"

Who would’ve thought that 80’s styled, synth-laden dance music was suited to tales of teenage desperation and surviving the mine field that is young love? New Roman Times sure think so: the bulk of On The Sleeve, the sophomore album from the Orlando four-piece who currently stomp ground in Austin, represents a marriage of fuzz bass, sinewy guitars, and clipped drum beats with teenage heartbreak and longing.

The results are largely pleasing. Vocal duties are handled by guitar player Daniel Owens and bass player Josie Fluri, and although Fluri is often relegated simply to background “ooohh’s” and “ahh’s,” this male/female dynamic creates a tension in the music that might not have been there in the first place. Opener “Smoke In Your Disguise” is a jumpy and infectious number with some sinister lyrics: “you are/you’re breaking my heart,” sing the both of them, suggesting a couple who stay together even though they both know the relationship is hurting them. The track illustrates one of New Roman Times’ main strengths: the ability to bury dark lyrics under layers and layers of otherwise happy sounding music, forcing the music and lyrics to constantly be at odds with each other.

The highlights abound. “21st Century Limited” sports the strongest hook on the album; Owens tells a departed lover that “you were wrong/and I was right/you say good luck/I’ll say goodbye/’cause you were wrong,” over a rapidly moving chord progression which seems only to heighten the tension in the lyrics. “On The Sleeve” is another winning song, with the walking bass line and gentle guitar passages recalling The Cure at their peak.

The only criticism to be leveled at On The Sleeve is how similar the 10 songs start to sound after a while, a common problem with any rock music heavily indebted to 80’s synth pop; the fact that most of the songs here are of a similar tempo does little to assuage this feeling. Still, this is relatively interesting dance music — it’s well structured and intelligently put together — and the decision to base the album’s lyrics on situations and feelings which run counter to this bouncy and excitable music is admirable. Just don’t expect to see wounded teenagers dancing their pain away at the local dance club anytime soon. - Delusions of Adequacy


"On The Sleeve Review"

The sophomore release from Austin’s indie rock quartet, New Roman Times, is a compelling hook-laden gem full of aural glee. Not to say that this latest endeavor will recall lollipops and rainbows, but this well-constructed release will certainly make your ears grateful.

On the Sleeve may come from a more mature and edgier place than the band’s previous release, International Affairs, but the band’s love affair with early 1990s indie rock is unmistakable. From the opening chords and dulcet boy/girl harmonies, to the thunderous, yet sparse, final closer, On the Sleeve is definitely baring its soul.

The record is the resulting amalgamation of moody, but subtle 1980s synth pop, and throbbing, yet stylish, indie rock. The songs are well-constructed, the arrangements are lush, the percussion is crisp and catchy, and the vocals drone in earnest. Immediately, the band brings to mind the familiar sounds of stellastarr*, My Bloody Valentine and New Order, combining distorted guitar melodies with pulsating drum and bass rhythms. The slow-building charger, “West End World,” is probably one of the best songs on the entire album, and certainly one of the most danceable. “VCR” is another great song; a drony, post-punk experiment that only gets louder and more entrancing as it goes on.

On the Sleeve is a perfectly crafted album, full of hooks that will keep your head swaying and lyrics that’ll woo your significant other. New Roman Times may be wearing their hearts on their sleeves, but that’s what makes it so easy to love this album. (New Granada Records) - Performer Magazine


Discography

"On the Sleeve" 7/2009 New Granada Records

"International Affairs" 5/2005 Social Recordings

Photos

Bio

It’s said that much can be drawn by observing the company someone keeps. So what does being consistently hand-picked to perform with artists like Death Cab for Cutie, The Bravery, Cursive, The Rapture and Ted Leo & the Pharmacists say about New Roman Times? It shows that they’re the next generation in the great American indie rock tradition.

Drawn from an emotional plane where pain and liberation are interchangeable, their nocturnal music moves from crashing towers to elegant whispers, often in the same song. Ringing and urgent, this is the sound of carving your way to catharsis. The husband-wife combination of Owens and Fluri provide the band’s vocal dynamics, allowing them to stroke vulnerability from all angles. Between the tortured wail of Owens and the intimate coo of Fluri, their smart indie rock soars as much as it digs.

Following up their nationally distributed and critically lauded album "International Affairs", New Roman Times emerge with the Lp "On the Sleeve".

Other artists they’ve performed with

The Raveonettes, Autolux, Enon, The Good Life, Rainer Maria, , VHS or Beta, Har Mar Superstar, Scissor Sisters and Elefant.