Roman Numerals

Roman Numerals

BandAlternative

Roman Numerals forms a sturdy bridge between indie-rock’s angular approach and the underground club scene’s throbbing tempos. Rather than resorting to retro reverence, Roman Numerals embraces creative revisionism. This is the sound of the past informed by the future.

Biography

Much as sculptors start with a cold stone square and chip away everything that doesn’t resemble their intended objects, Roman Numerals began by eliminating elements. Gone were the erratic jackhammer rhythms, psychedelic sludge and haunted-factory industrial clatter that characterized its contributors’ previous projects Season to Risk, Shiner and Dirtnap. Jettisoned were the morose melodies and murky moods that marked the post-punk tribute project that brought its members together. What remains is invigoratingly unique, with ringing guitar salvos that jostle listeners like violent waves, placid keyboards that whisper like the receding tide and drums that demand a dance response without resorting to an overeager death-disco cadence.

On the Kansas City-based quartet’s debut disc, rapid-fire riffs stilt-walk over bubbling-lava basslines until they melt into the mix. Spring-loaded choruses snap with steel-trap force, and serene synthesizers function like an ice cube floating in scalding soup. Steve Tulipana’s vocals are coolly commanding but never frozen stiff. The group’s guitar shivers occasionally conjure memories of the Smiths’ Johnny Marr, but the songs’ pounding pulses place those trembling tones in a much more chaotic context.

Roman Numerals forms a sturdy bridge between indie-rock’s angular approach and the underground club scene’s throbbing tempos. This high-powered hybrid could inspire even the most jaded observers to uncross their arms. While math-rock intimidates funlovers with its off-putting inaccessibility and dance-pop repels substance-seekers with its frilly frivolity, Roman Numerals meets in the middle, crafting instrumentally interesting material with savagely catchy appeal.

Rather than resorting to retro reverence, Roman Numerals embraces creative revisionism. This is the sound of the past informed by the future, as if Big Black had visited early-‘80s era Gang of Four in a vision, or if the ghost of Fugazi had haunted Modern English. Given that these creative collaborations never occurred, this is the first time a group has blended atmospheric artiness and a prominent percussive pulse with such precision. Rather than inviting comparisons to its influences, Roman Numerals has sculpted itself into a touchstone to which tomorrow’s acts will be likened.

Lyrics

Occupado

Written By: Tulipana/Smith

You look good in black in green
Best thing I’ve never seen
Been blind since seventeen
When’s a game not a game what’s this game?

Check your courage- you know
Check your courage- you already know

I won’t encourage you
I’m already in love I’m already in love
I won’t discourage you
from what you want

You look good in plastic wrap
Tinfoil marks the map
Been blind to everything
What’s the use, what’s the use what’s this game?

Check your courage- you know
Check your courage- you already know

Push all your luck-every everything
Realize the lust-every everyone
Pull back the fate- every everyone
Darling your late- everyone

I won’t encourage you
I’m already in love I’m already in love
I won’t discourage you
from what you want X2

I’m already in love I’m already in love X 3

Can We Trust Your Architect?

Written By: Smith/Tulipana

I tried to frame the picture
It was of flames and fire
Torn from the page off center (of sinners)
Stumble on your, your high heels
Red dress of blush the beauty
Its crumbled and torn you splintered

Shadow, shallow, shadow, shallow

I’ve lost all reason to recognize
Stood through temptation and realized
Should let it go
Can We Trust Your Architect?

I tried to frame the picture
It was of flames desire
It’s a bad one design that design
In mind

Shadow, shallow, shadow, shallow

Magnetic animals like sticking flies
I’ve lost all reason to realize
Should let it go

These are not stories humans collide
Temper sensations of separate lives
And let it go

Can we trust your architect?

Rule of Five

Written By: Tulipan/Smith

They're going to find you
Right where I left you
In this home we've built (with the sweat and blood)
What's the price of guilt?

You'll have to find your nerve
You'll have to wait your turn

In this 2nd Empire room
Us three, our no-exit tomb
No windows-No mirror-Just one door
Locked from the outside I'm sure
Inez, Estelle and me
Surface tension w/ no relief
There is no way out
Until we learn to enjoy

You'll have to bite your tongue
You'll have to wait your turn

It's not a crime
Employ the rule of five

(It's all our pleasure!)

Well, they found us out
By letter, by word
Meandering in depths unheard
Voices loud and clear
Now ringing in our heads
Sleeping sleepless sleep
This most private death (private death)

You'll have to catch your nerve
You'll have to wait your turn

It's not a crime
Employ the rule of five

It's a subtle indication that we're moving
Towards something we don't understand

It's a simple complication that's improving
With this pure choice at hand...

Discography

2006 Roman Numerals S/T - street date: Sept. 5, 2006 on Anodyne Records.
2004 self-release 9 song demo
Kansas City area radio play on
KCUR 89.3 Sonic Spectrum
KBZR 96.5 Homegrown Buzz
KJHK 90.7 Local Showcase

http://www.lawrence.com/turnpike/archive/2006-02-16/

Set List

My Life After Death, Parts 1 & 2
Rule of Five
Occupado
Can We Trust Your Architect?
Msr. Control
Known
Induce
In The Snow
Word Problems

On occasion we will cover Joy Division w/ one of the following songs:
She's Lost Control
Love will Tear us Apart
Decades
Transmission
Isolation

Our typical set runs 45min - 1 hour.