ROMERO
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ROMERO

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | INDIE

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | INDIE
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"Romero, Take the Potion: Stomp and Run"

There are few lines drawn in heavy underground rock that Madison, Wisconsin, three-piece Romero don’t cross on their debut full-length, Take the Potion. Fluidly touching on heavy rock, crashing into doom and caustic sludge while keeping an eye toward the pop melodies of Torche, the post-hardcore threat of later Akimbo and leaving room for a Sleep-derived riff-out at the end, the seven-track collection is perhaps most surprising in how well it’s all held together. Worth noting in that regard that for a band putting out their first album, Romero aren’t lacking for experience. Guitarist/vocalist Jeffrey Mundt drummed for Naked Aggression in the ‘90s, among others, and Take the Potion (released by Grindcore Karaoke) follows two preliminary singles, Couch Lock and Solitaire +1 (more on them here), so it’s not unexpected that Romero would come into their full-length debut with a decent sense of how they wanted to sound. Indeed, both sides of Couch Lock – those being “Couch Lock” and “In the Heather” – show up on Take the Potion as well, the latter as the closer. What surprises is the level of cohesiveness the three-piece harness throughout the songs, working in a variety of structures and with a swath of influences beyond those noted above, so that the oncoming rush of opener “Compliments and Cocktails” gives way to a catchy stoner verse and chorus before opening to a midsection of tom-heavy beefy hardcore shouts, like all of a sudden Pro-Pain showed up at the studio as Romero were 2:57 seconds into the 6:22 track and decided to take over. Maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s to the band’s credit – the rhythm section of bassist Steve Stanczyk and drummer/vocalist Benjamin Brooks alongside Mundt – that they’re able to transition so smoothly back into the more melodic verse and chorus. “Compliments and Cocktails” is a solid beginning in that it sets up the listener to never quite know what turn Romero might make within a song – after conveying monotony in the opener’s chorus without actually becoming monotonous, they even throw in a little organ near the end – and the rest of Take the Potion doesn’t fail to catch off guard, whether it’s the creeping initial build of second track “Couch Lock” or the stomp that shows up later in the yelling stretch of “Wheeling Deervish” on side B. Throughout, Romero, who recorded and mixed over the course of last year in cooperation with Mark Whitcomb (Phillip Cope of Kylesa mastered), distinguish their methods and showcase a powerful approach that sounds natural even as it melds genre elements often thought of as being at odds.

Primarily, this shit is heavy, and heaviness seems to be its main concern. That is, I don’t imagine Romero sat around in smoking jackets and plotted out second by second how they were going to tie different pieces of heavy rock together to create their own sound from them. More likely they just focused on writing good songs, which however impressive the other achievement might be is at the root of what makes it so. “Couch Lock,” re-recorded and cleaner-sounding than it was on the single, starts slow and arrives at a massive lumber signaled by Brooks’ drums, the plod soon topped with layers of shouting from the drummer and Mundt. Just when it seems they’ve exhausted the part, about two minutes later, they pick up the pace and shift into a faster, driving groove no less heavy but rife with energy and inviting swagger, riding the part out until the final hits recall the stomp from whence they emerged. Two tracks in, and already Romero’s Take the Potion has convinced me to do just that – I’m on board to follow them wherever they might go – and the psychedelic opening of “One Means Four,” some chime added for percussive ethereality, proves easy enough to follow. Stanczyk’s bassline holds the intro together, so that when the track kicks into the shouting verse and cleaner chorus, it makes an eerie kind of sense, gang shouts coming on near the midpoint to foreshadow a surprising rush in what turns out to be a deceptively linear build, breaking here, swarming there, never quite fully playing its hand until the last minute, when it brings back those shouts for another go. By the time you’ve caught up to it, Romero have moved onto the shorter (4:00, the shortest on the album) title-track, a centerpiece that casts off the long-intro ethic of “Couch Lock” and “One Means Four” in favor of immediate pummel with its verse riff. Brooks works a groove out on his ride while the trio crafts momentum out of what’s otherwise a familiar stoner progression, mounting effective stops in the chorus, Mundt’s guitar leading one riff cycle into the next. A solo after the chorus leads to a quieter break, still in motion and bouncing in Stanczyk’s bass, but topped with quick spoken word that leads to crashes that to my ears are enough to justify the Akimbo comparison above. That burst of energy transitions smoothly into the early shuffle of “Distraction Tree,” marking the movement into a s - The Obelisk


"You Should Have the Notion to Check Out Romero’s Take the Potion, Bro…tion"

Lost in the waterlogged ruins of the Post-Metal/Sludge-Doom/Stoner-Drone wave of the mid-‘00s was the notion of writing a damn good song. Granted, the nature of the genre makes discernible songs a (sigh) hazy concept: when good or bad, it was more about seeing how far you could stretch something before it would stop being metal (or if you’re Sunn0))), ask that question then just sort of linger there for a while). Even the songs I like from that era aren’t the sorts of jams you can throw on in the car between Morbid Angel and Ke$ha tracks; they’re long, emotional journeys that require the attention of both your mind and soul, leaving you a little roughed up at the end. (One doesn’t just throw on “Ghost Trail” after a long day at work unless you have some shit to work through.) Unlike “Hammer Smashed Face” or “Chapel of Ghouls” for death metal or “Transylvanian Hunger” or “Christraping Black Metal” for black metal, you can’t think of a touchstone song to really sum up the whole genre. And again, this is the nature of the cluster under the post-metal umbrella: making challenging music that’s hard to identify.
This wouldn’t be anything worth hashing out if it weren’t for the fact that stoner/sludge-whatever was founded in songcraft. Weed haze-stained numbers by Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Monster Magnet, and even Trouble and St. Vitus were part of a considerable arsenal of songs, even if they did walk their own sinewy path. It’s worth getting lost up one’s own ass if there’s a solid foundation there before you do. Romero know this and keep their excursions to the outer reaches fairly brief and well-reined. Take the Potion, their (free!) debut, is full of riffs and hooks. You’ll find yourself humming more than a few songs on the album (that excellent new Cult of Luna only really lends itself to complex, 18-minute humming sessions). Relatively brief and with a few staggering surprises, Potion hearkens back to metal’s Sabbathian roots in a straightforward fashion.
I mention Black Sabbath for a third time already in this review for good reason: the genres that flowered off from what the band started back in the ‘70s is on full display here. Bluesy shimmies, downtuned riffs that stumble about like a drunk bull, and quieter moments that have a curdled, jazzy quality to them. The only time the record runs into problems is when the band gets too heavy: at heart, Romero are more a stoner rock band than a stoner metal one. “One Means Four” loses the personality of the band’s more focused, tuneful songs and instead sounds like solid if by-the-numbers sludge. The band are never bad in Take the Potion’s less inspiring moments, but for Romero to stand out, they have to stick with what they’re best at: good songs. Not that the record’s first half is lacking them: opener “Compliments and Cocktails” sounds like what The Sword wish they sounded like, and the title track sounds like a blazed Helmet covering Zeppelin. Even after years of bearded guys hunting down Obsessed vinyl and putting out records on Pitchfork-approved labels, it’s still nice to hear.
Take the Potion would be a pretty decent record if it wrapped up with its third-to-last track “Distraction Tree”. But instead, the album’s pretty heavily back-loaded, with the last two songs blowing the previous five out of the water. “Wheeling Deervish” is anchored in a sunburnt desert rock riff before it briefly wanders off into lead-footed doom and a psychedelically quiet middle (there’s some organ in there too, for good measure). Closer “In the Heather” is where the band do epic correctly, building up to a proper song after two minutes of patiently building dynamics. They follow it with smoky stoner rock and thunderous doom, bringing back the riff that started the whole song off. Even before Potion’s huge ending, the band shows that they’re not afraid to bring back a good riff if necessary. Romero have enough confidence to build songs around what other bands would just slap together and hope work. Even before it’s phenomenal ending, Take the Potion demonstrates Romero care just as much about taking you to the outer reaches as they do about making sure you’re satisfied before you go.
-Sammy O'Hagar - Metal Sucks


"ROMERO - Take The Potion (Review)"

You had me at the name guys. Whether it's a nod to the "Godfather of Zombies", or inspired by the1989 film of the same name (which is about the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero), the name Romero just strikes the right chord with me. I'd like to believe it's the former as this northern, Wisconsin 3-piece, who were formed in late 2009, blissfully bridges the gap between the old (Black Sabbath) and the new (Queens Of The Stone Age) in much the same way as George's "Night of the Living Dead" and "Survival of the Dead". The band has recently played with the bands like The Sword, Jucifer, Weedeater, Clutch, Dead Meadow and Black Label Society, but these guys have been tearing up the stage from the word go. The band's driving force is Jeffrey Mundt who, at one point in his career. spent time as the drummer for fellow Wisconsin act (and all around cool punk band) Naked Aggression. That was before fortune and glory called out to him one day. In addition to being a talented drummer he was also a long-time guitar player & songwriter, as evident by his skills here, so before long he was laying the foundation for what would become Romero. Here Jeffery Mundt handles lead vocals, percussion and guitars and he's in this unholy 3-piece by drummer & vocalist Ben Brooks and, since 2012, bass player Steve Stanczyk. The band's first release, the 7 inch "Solitaire", was released on Triceratrax Records in 2010 and, from all accounts, continues to be a hot download. So, what is it about "Take The Potion" that should make sludge & stoner fans drool? With Romero the influences (Black Sabbath, Torche, Sleep, The Sword, Queens of the Stone Age, etc.) are shuffled up before Jeffrey Mundt and company deal out a royal flush. Mighty riff after mighty riff is unleashed upon the unsuspecting listener and before long you find yourself buried by a mountain of fuzzy sludge/stoner rock. Aided by a spot-on production (everything perfectly falls into place here), that's both modern and retro, these seven songs roll out smoothly. By smoothly I mean that you don't seem to notice that while Romero is busy perfectly blending everything from classic rock to doom metal the bodies just keep piling up all around you! Romero's crushing approach is testimony that it's not only the likes of The Sword and Queens Of The Stone Age that has helped shape this band, but that somewhere in the deep, dark crevices of their minds they've witnessed the raw power of a band like The Melvins. These seven songs range in length from just under 4 minutes to just over seven minutes so there's no "3 minute pop songs" here. Instead the riffs are monstrous and, like their bio says, "Romero spreads like weeds" choking the life out of everything else around them. Or, if you like, Romero is like a virus which has found a way into your body and is eating you up from the inside out! When this album get's going it fills up every square inch of your speakers and makes you remember why you love loud rock so much to begin with. There's nothing systematic or predictable about this 3-piece band. Inside these seven songs you'll find a band that has taken their time to hone their craft into the best that it can be while at the same time allowing their creative juices to run wild. "Take The Potion" doesn't follow any set rules other then maybe one of my favorite "rules": The LOUDER the BETTER! Romero, despite only forming in 2009, sounds like a veteran act already and this album, which is a free digital download, is bound to make quite the impression in the sludge/stoner scene. If things were to go right for this band, and this album could fall into the right hands, Romero could find themselves headed for even bigger and better things. I could easily see Romero ending up being the current rage. You can hear this wicked release for yourself at the link below and it's worth noting that "Take The Potion" will be out on CD and vinyl as well!
-Andy - Heavy Metal Time Machine


"ROMERO - Band Of The Week"

Stimulants: Chesterfield Red king size, Coca-Cola maximum corn syrup. Time: 19:22. Location: The living room… what else can I say? I’m in the living room, and amidst the noise the cat will not be deterred from cleaning its anus. Disposition: irritable.

So initially it seems this is another catchy doom thing with impressive harmonies, pretty much identical to a rake of contemporary American bands I don’t need to list. There is nothing particularly wrong with opener ‘Compliments and Cocktails’; it’s tight and propulsive, introducing the contrasting vocal styles that Romero employ. However, this sound is so rife it all feels a bit after the Lord Mayor’s show. So much blues and groove has infected this kind of riffing that I don’t find it heavy anymore; it’s almost family entertainment now…the threat is gone, drifting further from Iommi ‘s evil interludes towards southern rock. It’s just a sound that is starting to grate on my mind somewhat.

Like fellow BOTW Lamprey though, they’ve selected the most homogenised, safe track as the lead cut, and thankfully ‘Couch Lock’ is heavier, slower, gruffer and free from all that good time, tobacco-chewing, whiskey slugging, note-bending bullshit. This is the heathen version of Romero I dig, when they channel the animal within. I’m not suggesting they try to innovate, just that there seems to be several incarnations of one band on show here (albeit from across a fairly narrow spectrum in the grand scheme of things) and the galloping groove they try to maintain as a thread is the least interesting aspect of their sound. Former Naked Aggression drummer Jeffrey Mundt is a convincing front/axeman though, and while he’s now occupying a completely different musical pasture, he certainly ensures that even the longer songs are flab-free. ‘One Means Four’ takes us more into sludge and post-metal territory, and is sonically impressive if not particularly memorable.

The title track and ‘Distraction Tree’ both initially hint at current Mastodon, the latter being much the better song, with some fucking bruising guitar parts that, coupled with Mundt’s impassioned delivery, make for the ideal introduction to the great potential this band has. The beefed-up old-school metal assault of the end part is exactly the kind of foundation I’d like to see at their core, rather than the wearying Orange Amps and Cannabis leaves thing. Though ‘In the Heather’ sits firmly in this territory, it stands out by just being a really impressive song, combining razor hooks and bloody-minded intensity to sign off with a massive middle finger.

‘Take the Potion’ is something of a riff circus; I’m no wiser as to what the trademark Romero sound is at the end of this, but we bestow upon them the ornate chalice of Band of the Week because the album is brimming with latent possibility for their future. Choose your poison carefully and patiently, for there is bound to be something to please all stripes of rivethead here; the real Romero will step forward soon enough.
Writer: Darren Bibby - Beard Rock (UK)


"MadTracks: 'In the Heather' by Romero"

On their debut full-length, Take the Potion, Madison metal trio Romero tackle the age-old challenge of the stoner-and-doom realm: balancing low-end gratification with suspense and variety. The band does not wear a monotone coat of sludge, though.

Sure, Romero plod through dense chords and let out ominous vocal roars, but more often than not, they are simultaneously heavy and light on their feet. The intro of "One Means Four" uses a glockenspiel to creepy effect, and "Couch Lock" draws its power from a savage vocal duet between guitarist Jeffrey Mundt and drummer Ben Brooks.

Mundt begins the seven-minute closing track, "In the Heather," with a guitar figure that's almost ponderous. The song gets to a louder place pretty soon, but by way of a convoluted structure and changes of rhythm -- as if a big doom-y climax isn't really the point. Just when a nice, crowd-pleasing blowup feels likely, Brooks uses a slightly lighter touch on the drums to lead things elsewhere.

Like the album as a whole, it explores ways to slowly sear the eardrums. Brooks and Mundt engage in a bellowing call-and-response mid-song, and the vocals coming from either side of the mix show that Romero understand how to navigate the subtler areas between quiet and loud.


Romero released an earlier version of "In the Heather" as the b-side on its "Couch Lock" cassette single nearly a year ago. This new version is almost a minute longer.

Some songs on Take the Potion get to the point a little more quickly, especially "Wheeling Dervish." But whatever the pace, Mundt and bassist Steve Stanczyk give the record a great deal of different textures, from a muted, Queens of the Stone Age-like feel to gloriously ragged distortion. Madison organ player Tim Consequence lends a cool assist on a couple of songs, and the engineers of Madison's DNA Music Labs deserve a lot of credit for capturing the diversity of Romero's sound. The result is a record that neatly combines simplicity and a bit of prog-rock ambition.

-Scott Gordon - Isthmus | The Daily Page


"ROMERO - Take The Potion (Review)"

These hugely talented Stoner Metallers recently emailed me to check their band out as it is up for free download. Well I liked the look of their album cover. So I downloaded their album right away. Put the music on my MP3 Player. And sure enough, I was transported into the warped mind of these cool sludge/stoner rockers.

Their new album – Take The Potion – is a seven song and 40-minute volatile cocktail of amazing Sludge/Stoner metal riffs that blew my whole mind from the word go.

Take The Potion is a highly infectious blend of modern based Stoner/Sludge Metal riffs that you will easily become addicted to from the start. If you are a fan of recent Small Stone Recordings bands then you are going to find much to enjoy here. Small Stone Recordings should sign these guys now as they would easily fit amongst their amazing roster of bands.

Anyway – Take The Potion – is a blast from start to finish. The seven songs show these guys know how to write a great groove laden riff with excellent vocals to match.

First track – Compliments and Cocktails – shows you what to expect for the rest of the album. Riffs, Riffs, Riffs and more Riffs with a demented wicked vibe running through it. It’s features some of the most finely tuned 6 mins you will hear from a debut album in a long while.

I do not want to spoil the album for you, as it is a great ride that you will listen to over and over again. The other six tracks have moments of brilliance that any top-notch Sludge/Stoner Metal bands would be proud to call their own. The tracks range from 4 mins to 7 mins in length and it is the lengthier tracks where the band goes full flow and showing you what their capable of.

I cannot say which track is my favourite as they are all equally great as each other. This is an album that every Stoner/Sludge Metal fan should have their in record collection now.

Romero have delivered quite frankly an amazing debut album that should open many doors for them in the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene. These guys sound like they would go down a storm on any world stage – Big or small.

The album is brilliantly produced as you can hear the gigantic riffs to loud earth-shattering perfection.

If you want more evidence how great it is then headover to their BandCamp Page and check out any of the 7 tracks on offer and be prepared to be blown away. This album is up for free download on two separate BandCamp Pages here and here. But I don’t know for how long as these downloads will be gone very soon.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is going to be on my list of best records of 2013. That is how great it is.

Highly Recommended. – What do you think? Do what Romero tell you – Take The Potion – now that is an order. You can also buy this amazing album on Deluxe Edition CD and Limited Vinyl as well. - The Sludgelord


"ROMERO - Take The Potion (Review)"

These hugely talented Stoner Metallers recently emailed me to check their band out as it is up for free download. Well I liked the look of their album cover. So I downloaded their album right away. Put the music on my MP3 Player. And sure enough, I was transported into the warped mind of these cool sludge/stoner rockers.

Their new album – Take The Potion – is a seven song and 40-minute volatile cocktail of amazing Sludge/Stoner metal riffs that blew my whole mind from the word go.

Take The Potion is a highly infectious blend of modern based Stoner/Sludge Metal riffs that you will easily become addicted to from the start. If you are a fan of recent Small Stone Recordings bands then you are going to find much to enjoy here. Small Stone Recordings should sign these guys now as they would easily fit amongst their amazing roster of bands.

Anyway – Take The Potion – is a blast from start to finish. The seven songs show these guys know how to write a great groove laden riff with excellent vocals to match.

First track – Compliments and Cocktails – shows you what to expect for the rest of the album. Riffs, Riffs, Riffs and more Riffs with a demented wicked vibe running through it. It’s features some of the most finely tuned 6 mins you will hear from a debut album in a long while.

I do not want to spoil the album for you, as it is a great ride that you will listen to over and over again. The other six tracks have moments of brilliance that any top-notch Sludge/Stoner Metal bands would be proud to call their own. The tracks range from 4 mins to 7 mins in length and it is the lengthier tracks where the band goes full flow and showing you what their capable of.

I cannot say which track is my favourite as they are all equally great as each other. This is an album that every Stoner/Sludge Metal fan should have their in record collection now.

Romero have delivered quite frankly an amazing debut album that should open many doors for them in the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene. These guys sound like they would go down a storm on any world stage – Big or small.

The album is brilliantly produced as you can hear the gigantic riffs to loud earth-shattering perfection.

If you want more evidence how great it is then headover to their BandCamp Page and check out any of the 7 tracks on offer and be prepared to be blown away. This album is up for free download on two separate BandCamp Pages here and here. But I don’t know for how long as these downloads will be gone very soon.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is going to be on my list of best records of 2013. That is how great it is.

Highly Recommended. – What do you think? Do what Romero tell you – Take The Potion – now that is an order. You can also buy this amazing album on Deluxe Edition CD and Limited Vinyl as well. - The Sludgelord


"Romero – Take The Potion (REVIEW)"

Romero – Take The Potion
Grindcore Karaoke – 2013
Rock, Metal, Stoner, Doom, Sludge
Rated: *****

The Romero threesome has returned with an amazing new album called Take The Potion. After treating us to the Couch Lock single and the Solitaire EP it is time for a full-sized album. And what an album it is! It’s a kamikaze assault on everything the stoner scene hold dear by way of classic metal and old fashioned doom. They do not sound like anything retro but have the knack to weave the masters of yore ever so slightly into their very own brand of metal sludge. The new Komatsu record might still be a tiny bit heavier, devastating and crushing. The new Romero takes the cake when it comes to putting some air, slow tempos and color into the aural destruction. Blasting vocals that mesmerize and exploding riffs that wash over the impressive drums that make the sweat and blood drip of the ceiling. So take the potion and drink up. Cause we’re not in Kansas anymore!

by JOOP KONRAAD - Stoner Hive


"Romero – Take The Potion (REVIEW)"

Romero – Take The Potion
Grindcore Karaoke – 2013
Rock, Metal, Stoner, Doom, Sludge
Rated: *****

The Romero threesome has returned with an amazing new album called Take The Potion. After treating us to the Couch Lock single and the Solitaire EP it is time for a full-sized album. And what an album it is! It’s a kamikaze assault on everything the stoner scene hold dear by way of classic metal and old fashioned doom. They do not sound like anything retro but have the knack to weave the masters of yore ever so slightly into their very own brand of metal sludge. The new Komatsu record might still be a tiny bit heavier, devastating and crushing. The new Romero takes the cake when it comes to putting some air, slow tempos and color into the aural destruction. Blasting vocals that mesmerize and exploding riffs that wash over the impressive drums that make the sweat and blood drip of the ceiling. So take the potion and drink up. Cause we’re not in Kansas anymore!

by JOOP KONRAAD - Stoner Hive


"Albums That Will Fuck Your Face Off in 2013: Romero, Take the Potion"

Romero
Take the Potion (Grindcore Karaoke)
Release date – January 29, 2013
Like most of the civilized world, I got really fucking sick of stoner-doom about two or three years ago. Even Southern Lord — the classiest of stoner-doom labels— started putting out hardcore records. Then a few weeks ago, I stumbled onto Romero’s Solitaire EP via Grindcore Karaoke (a site that you should be as obsessed with as I am). And like that, I was upended. The big, droning chords; the thunderous, sneakily-proficient drums; the Sleep’s Holy Mountain-esque howling; the hazy, focused-and-yet-relaxed pace… It was enough to remind me why I’d fallen so hard for any band with some Orange amps and a penchant for Black Sabbath way back when. Smoke a bowl or five and Romero will take you on the same sort of Weedian journey that the genre’s forefathers so boldly took. Listen to them sober and there’s still plenty to chew on. Basically, they learned from the mistakes of so many disposable, fuzzy weed metal bands.
And because 2013 is already shaping up to be a bruiser of a year for metal, Romero are releasing their debut full-length, Take the Potion, at the end of the month. For fucking free: all the band have done is set up a Kickstarter page to help fund vinyl pressings of the album. (And unlike Kickstarter enthusiasts who pay their contributors in beer and hugs, the band are giving away trinkets, shirts, and, er, postcards with donations.) And while it’s good karma to check out albums that bands are kind enough to give away for free, Take the Potion shows promise: the band write spacey songs that don’t delve into masturbatory territory; most songs thus far fall in the 5-7 minute range. They have as much of a penchant for muted Kyuss-style desert rock as they do for building-razing doom. It’ll be interesting to see what they can do with an entire album’s worth of songs. Though still pretty early in the year, there’s reason to believe Romero have a pretty good chance of fucking your face off. You have until January 29th to find a good plastic surgeon.

by Sammy O'Hagar - Metal Sucks


"Take The Potion - Romero (Review)"

Romero- Take The Potion
Release date: 2013Jan29
Label: Grindcore Karoake
Rating: 4.5/5

Oh Romero, thy Romero, how shall I review thy opus?

Romero hail from Wausau, WI. Take The Potion is their first full-length release after two EPs (Couch Lock and Solitaire).

If you’re like me, you’re likely familiar with the term, “Couch Lock“: Fuzzy riffs greet the listener ala Serpent Venom, transitioning to a bluesy dirge. Not to be outdone, “One Means Four” is the sonic equivalent of Oz Osbourne (Coven) and Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) dropping acid in the bathroom of the Alamo. Listen for yourself!

“Take The Potion” educates the listener on the finer points of ’70s rock (sinewy vocals, a structure reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult and/or Hawkwind). If you pause at the 2:38 mark, you’ll hear Jeffrey Mundt channeling a demented take on “Cats in the Cradle”! “In The Heather” (originally from the Couch Lock EP) distills the essence of Romano with a soft, spirited plod that amplifies from 3:20-onward. In conclusion, Take the Potion lives up to the hype and it is an excellent way to start off the new year.

What are you waiting for? Take the Potion, motherfucker!
review by bbarratt - WRUV


"Take The Potion - Romero (Review)"

Romero- Take The Potion
Release date: 2013Jan29
Label: Grindcore Karoake
Rating: 4.5/5

Oh Romero, thy Romero, how shall I review thy opus?

Romero hail from Wausau, WI. Take The Potion is their first full-length release after two EPs (Couch Lock and Solitaire).

If you’re like me, you’re likely familiar with the term, “Couch Lock“: Fuzzy riffs greet the listener ala Serpent Venom, transitioning to a bluesy dirge. Not to be outdone, “One Means Four” is the sonic equivalent of Oz Osbourne (Coven) and Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) dropping acid in the bathroom of the Alamo. Listen for yourself!

“Take The Potion” educates the listener on the finer points of ’70s rock (sinewy vocals, a structure reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult and/or Hawkwind). If you pause at the 2:38 mark, you’ll hear Jeffrey Mundt channeling a demented take on “Cats in the Cradle”! “In The Heather” (originally from the Couch Lock EP) distills the essence of Romano with a soft, spirited plod that amplifies from 3:20-onward. In conclusion, Take the Potion lives up to the hype and it is an excellent way to start off the new year.

What are you waiting for? Take the Potion, motherfucker!
review by bbarratt - WRUV


"Interview with Romero"

Today on Sludgelord I am pleased to be interviewing ROMERO – The brilliant Sludge/Stoner Rockers who are impressing everybody with their amazing new album – TAKE THE POTION

I recently described this album as - “Take The Potion is a highly infectious blend of modern based Stoner/Sludge Metal riffs that you will easily become addicted to from the start. If you are a fan of recent Small Stone Recordings bands then you are going to find much to enjoy here. Small Stone Recordings should sign these guys now as they would easily fit amongst their amazing roster of bands.”

I loved this album so much I bought the Vinyl right away. I wanted to hear much more from ROMERO so it was cool they kindly agreed an interview with me. So lets get down to business with the brilliant ROMERO.
Fuck Yeah!!!

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today?

Jeff: Hi, Mr. Sludgelord! You are quite welcome. Things are equally awesome & horrible...as is the norm these days.

Steve: Moist.

Ben: Real spiritual high, brother. Real high.
Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about?

Jeff: Romero happened completely by accident. I had been away from music for many years, living in northern WI, completely immersed in my toys & collectibles business. I saw a local Craigslist post looking for musicians for a stoner rock band. I was certain that the ad was placed by a friend up there, so I answered. It wasn’t my friend, it was another dude...that dude was nice, so we started writing songs together. We made demos, found a drummer and just kept playing. Our influences & surroundings really dictated our path. Well, that & the pot...

Steve: I joined the band in January of 2012 to take over for Josh Stanchik on bass. My previous band, Rust Belt Sermon, had played with Ben, Jeff and Josh during their first show as Romero. Jeff and I also had a lot of common acquaintances from the 90s Madison/Milwaukee punk/hardcore scene though we never met back then. Seems like every time we reminisce about some show we were at, the other person was also there.

Ben: I came into the game after an album had been written. A damn good record, too. Since then, I just try to keep my head on straight while we lay down some crush.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound?

Jeff: Heavy blues? I don’t know...We started out pretty stoner-droner, but have since upped the blues & the prog and really have developed into our own sound. We are a bit all over the place lately, but I think that is a good thing. There are so many flavors that need to be tasted and explored. On the other hand, I still love my vintage tube amps, pedals & stacks of cabs. There will always be that tonal element to whatever we do.

Steve: Apocalyptic space doom rock with a sprinkle of kief.

Ben: Big.
Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians?

Jeff: All 3 of the members of Romero have been influenced and affected by a ton of music throughout the years. From the well known bands to the basement dwelling DIY scenes, we have listened to and absorbed all of it. My list is way too long, my friend.

Steve: It really varies for me as I am a bit A.D.D. when it comes to bands. If it isn't on commercial radio, it is fair game.

Ben: As far as I can tell, we're all into music as an artform, as opposed to one particular style. Personally, I like a good pop song as well as I like crusty, fucked up hardcore. Lately, it's been a lot of psychedelia. That new Goat record makes my brain melt.

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills?

Jeff: I work all day as a shipping robot in a warehouse and I hate every second. I have been a full-time musician in the past and I have owned a business, so the sooner I can get back to one of those things, the better.

Steve: I'm a graphic designer by day.

Ben: The man is still twisting my balls off, if that's what you mean.

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music?

Jeff: So supportive! I am constantly touched by the kindness and understanding I receive from my family & friends.

Steve: It would be a tough go if they weren't. Most of my friends are either current or former members of bands so they get it. My family has always been supportive of my music—even to the point of letting us hold basement punk shows in their house when we were kids.

Ben: Hell yeah.
Q7 – What is the songwriting process in the band? Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual?

Jeff: Songwriting happens a few different ways in this band. A lot of our early songs were written and developed by myself and brought into the band. Other times, I will have a riff or series of riffs and we will structure the song collectively. Lyrics and vocals sort of develop as we go...maybe starting with a melody, then phonetically adding words and phrases that fit.

Steve: I write my parts and that - The Sludgelord


"Interview with Romero"

Today on Sludgelord I am pleased to be interviewing ROMERO – The brilliant Sludge/Stoner Rockers who are impressing everybody with their amazing new album – TAKE THE POTION

I recently described this album as - “Take The Potion is a highly infectious blend of modern based Stoner/Sludge Metal riffs that you will easily become addicted to from the start. If you are a fan of recent Small Stone Recordings bands then you are going to find much to enjoy here. Small Stone Recordings should sign these guys now as they would easily fit amongst their amazing roster of bands.”

I loved this album so much I bought the Vinyl right away. I wanted to hear much more from ROMERO so it was cool they kindly agreed an interview with me. So lets get down to business with the brilliant ROMERO.
Fuck Yeah!!!

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today?

Jeff: Hi, Mr. Sludgelord! You are quite welcome. Things are equally awesome & horrible...as is the norm these days.

Steve: Moist.

Ben: Real spiritual high, brother. Real high.
Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about?

Jeff: Romero happened completely by accident. I had been away from music for many years, living in northern WI, completely immersed in my toys & collectibles business. I saw a local Craigslist post looking for musicians for a stoner rock band. I was certain that the ad was placed by a friend up there, so I answered. It wasn’t my friend, it was another dude...that dude was nice, so we started writing songs together. We made demos, found a drummer and just kept playing. Our influences & surroundings really dictated our path. Well, that & the pot...

Steve: I joined the band in January of 2012 to take over for Josh Stanchik on bass. My previous band, Rust Belt Sermon, had played with Ben, Jeff and Josh during their first show as Romero. Jeff and I also had a lot of common acquaintances from the 90s Madison/Milwaukee punk/hardcore scene though we never met back then. Seems like every time we reminisce about some show we were at, the other person was also there.

Ben: I came into the game after an album had been written. A damn good record, too. Since then, I just try to keep my head on straight while we lay down some crush.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound?

Jeff: Heavy blues? I don’t know...We started out pretty stoner-droner, but have since upped the blues & the prog and really have developed into our own sound. We are a bit all over the place lately, but I think that is a good thing. There are so many flavors that need to be tasted and explored. On the other hand, I still love my vintage tube amps, pedals & stacks of cabs. There will always be that tonal element to whatever we do.

Steve: Apocalyptic space doom rock with a sprinkle of kief.

Ben: Big.
Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians?

Jeff: All 3 of the members of Romero have been influenced and affected by a ton of music throughout the years. From the well known bands to the basement dwelling DIY scenes, we have listened to and absorbed all of it. My list is way too long, my friend.

Steve: It really varies for me as I am a bit A.D.D. when it comes to bands. If it isn't on commercial radio, it is fair game.

Ben: As far as I can tell, we're all into music as an artform, as opposed to one particular style. Personally, I like a good pop song as well as I like crusty, fucked up hardcore. Lately, it's been a lot of psychedelia. That new Goat record makes my brain melt.

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills?

Jeff: I work all day as a shipping robot in a warehouse and I hate every second. I have been a full-time musician in the past and I have owned a business, so the sooner I can get back to one of those things, the better.

Steve: I'm a graphic designer by day.

Ben: The man is still twisting my balls off, if that's what you mean.

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music?

Jeff: So supportive! I am constantly touched by the kindness and understanding I receive from my family & friends.

Steve: It would be a tough go if they weren't. Most of my friends are either current or former members of bands so they get it. My family has always been supportive of my music—even to the point of letting us hold basement punk shows in their house when we were kids.

Ben: Hell yeah.
Q7 – What is the songwriting process in the band? Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual?

Jeff: Songwriting happens a few different ways in this band. A lot of our early songs were written and developed by myself and brought into the band. Other times, I will have a riff or series of riffs and we will structure the song collectively. Lyrics and vocals sort of develop as we go...maybe starting with a melody, then phonetically adding words and phrases that fit.

Steve: I write my parts and that - The Sludgelord


"Sleeping Shaman REVIEW"

This is the first official release by Romero and what a great release it is too. Cased in a screen printed black/silver cover depicting a boat coursing through a storm filled ocean at least partially prepares the listener for what is to come.
Consisting of two anthemic tracks these boys from Wisconsin are responsible for kicking up the storm that's causing the boat to flounder. Both 'Solitaire' on Side A and Side B's El 'Sentido Morboso' channel a concentrated energy by counterpointing the introspection of quiet parts to full on riff laden, at volume verses which are further enhanced by the immediate whistle blowing choruses and close harmony vocals.
Jeff Mundt neither a singer or guitarist in his previous bands Naked Aggression and Thug has transformed himself into the guitar hero phoenix rising from the ashes of his own burning drum kit. Citing influences such as Floor and Torche amongst others may indicate to the listener what the band are trying to achieve. What Romero deliver with this release is neither derivate or so far removed that it makes it difficult to relate their influences to what they play.
Limited to 500 copies I would go and pick one of these 7" pups up now before they become monstrously difficult to find.
Label: Triceratrax Records
Website: www.romeroisloud.com
Contributed by: Pete Giles on the 28/12/10 - The Sleeping Shaman (UK)


"Zac's "Double Dose": Aquanaut / Romero"

Romero: Couch Lock Single

With a plodding pace and visceral shout Romero are off, dragging your bruised skull steadily through their mix of punk, doom, and sludge. Romero's latest release Couch Lock Single, is made up of two killer yet diverse tracks. The first, the title track, Couch Lock stays within the realm of doom meandering along a bassline for two plus minutes. At that point a fierce scream turns the depressive gloom into a sludge nightmare. Soon after we find ourselves riding a stoner riff like a wave. The almighty riffage continues to carry us, although at a groovier pace than previous, with In The Heather. The vocals are sung much cleaner here, with Baroness-esque shouts of "Whoaaaa-ooohhhh!". The rhythym steps the beat up and carries us through the remainder of Romero's single. Check out these two tracks at Romero's bandcamp and remember...
"ROMERO spreads like a weed." - Heavy Planet


"LIVE RECAP: ROMERO"

Saturday, April 14, 2012 @ Project Lodge, Madison WI
The cozy and encompassing Project Lodge was treated to an extremely LOUD show this past Saturday night. ROMERO, whose amps literally touched the ceiling, absolutely destroyed with their powerful blend of stoner-sludge-doom. My only regret is that it took me so long to see them for the first time. The intro of the above video speaks for itself, as an audience member groans out a “yeeeeeeah” during one of Jeffrey Mundt’s infectious riffs. That man spoke for the rest of us, as there were plenty of reasons to give affirmative groans throughout their all-too-brief set.
This trio not only knows how to drop a slow heavy doom riff, but they can turn it up with some KYUSS desert boogie too. The sing-yelling vocals of guitarist Mundt is the perfect compliment to the ferocious bark of drummer Ben Brooks. And Brooks deserves a lot of credit as a heavy metal drummer. Instead of leaning on the double kick crutch for a thickening sound, he beefs it up by going completely animal on the toms. But all in all, these guys have their sound dialed in to a T. It’s loud, fuzzy, warm, and rich.
They play extremely well off one another, and they brought a tight, aggressive show to a good group of energetic fans. I’ll not make the mistake of waiting so long for the next show. And there’s no excuse as ROMERO has quite a few upcoming shows in the Wisconsin and surrounding areas, so be sure to check them out @ www.romeroisloud.com and show some love to Madison’s own high and heavy rockers. - goodshakes.com


"DECIBEL Review - June 2011 // No. 080"

ROMERO Solitaire 7-inch

This is the second record that looks like some love was put into the layout and music, yet they entrust the knuckleheads of the internet to not take advantage of their goodwill by posting up these stoner jams for free. A combination of Kyuss and Southern sludge immersed in the smoke of your local everyday hydroponics, this is pretty straightforward to be involved with Jay Randall's Grindcore Karaoke label. But regardless, the few bucks that can be spared for a release of this caliber should be.

WWW.ROMEROISLOUD.COM - Decibel


"DECIBEL Review - June 2011 // No. 080"

ROMERO Solitaire 7-inch

This is the second record that looks like some love was put into the layout and music, yet they entrust the knuckleheads of the internet to not take advantage of their goodwill by posting up these stoner jams for free. A combination of Kyuss and Southern sludge immersed in the smoke of your local everyday hydroponics, this is pretty straightforward to be involved with Jay Randall's Grindcore Karaoke label. But regardless, the few bucks that can be spared for a release of this caliber should be.

WWW.ROMEROISLOUD.COM - Decibel


"Microreview: Romero, Solitaire 7""

“Solitaire,” in C, opens with (for awhile) just the hi-hat– it works/pays off: swirly chanted vocals sit on top of the palm-muted riff….

“El Sentido Morboso,” down further to B–typical at first, nice vamping behind solo; nice solo for that matter…

“Angry rider” (back up to C) at 2:15 becomes crusty sabbath riff like “A National Acrobat”/ chanty vocal become gang vocals; lushly palpable contrast… - Sawtooth Wave


"Heavy Blog Is Heavy REVIEW"

Take a dose of Black Sabbath, throw in The Sword, and add a dabble of Clutch, Neurosis and Sleep, and you got yourself Romero. Formed in 2009 and hailing from Wausau, Wisconsin, Romero are a blend of stoner/rock and good old fashioned doom metal. Many thanks to Alkahest for bringing this band to my attention, and I couldn’t be all the more pleased, for now I have another stoner/doom metal band to listen too and another band to add to my collection.

Founding member Jeffery Mundt from such bands as Thug and Naked Aggression, has often thought about fronting his own band, but never pursued it seriously. It wasn’t until moving to Northern Wisconsin, acquiring a bass player through craigslist, and an 8 month writing/recording session (where Mundt handled vocals, guitar and drums) that Romero was born. Upon creating a demo and using it as a way to acquire a drummer, it turns out that drummer & vocalist Ben Brooks found out about them and quickly joined the ranks before even hearing how they sounded. And luckily for the band, he liked what he heard. Now with a completed band, Romero started playing shows locally, but in no time they were touring nationwide with other stoner/doom and rock heavyweights such as Jucifer, Weedeater, Clutch and Black Label Society, just to name a few.

One look at the album art and you instantly get the vibe of impending doom that’s about to welcome itself upon that ship, in this case, a monstrous wave. And that’s basically Romero, a crushing, dominating wave of sound upon the listener. Their latest endeavor, Solitaire, contains two songs, “Solitaire” and “El Sentido Morboso”, and if you think that isn’t enough to wet your appetite, you are sadly mistaken. Combining elements of doom, sludge, drone and rock, these songs offer a deep resonating sound that instantly triggers your head to nod back and fourth uncontrollably. It’s a fact, it happened to me.

The EP opens with “Solitaire”, a six and half minute punch to the gut, with it’s slow, low-tuned guitars creating a thick atmosphere which is then combined with drone-like vocals, reminiscent of bands like Sleep and Neurosis, but also at times having qualities akin to The Sword. The music harkens back to the days of Black Sabbath, so it has that classic sound to it right from the get go. Think of the beginning to “War Pigs” and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. The second track, “El Sentido Morboso” picks up the pace a bit, being more rock oriented with a bit of groove, but not to the point as to where it comes off like a different band. It’s still doom and it’s still rocks. I can’t help but think of Clutch at certain times when I listen to this song.

Based on the fact that I’ve only heard a few of their songs and how quickly I’ve become a fan of Romero, I can only wait with bated breath for a full-length. And if it’s anything like Solitaire, I’m sure it will be worth the wait. Be sure to check out their bandcamp page, where they’re offering their EP, which contains a bonus song, “Angry Rider”, for only a few bucks. It’s a small price to pay for such a large amount of sound. - Heavy Blog Is Heavy


"Heavy Blog Is Heavy REVIEW"

Take a dose of Black Sabbath, throw in The Sword, and add a dabble of Clutch, Neurosis and Sleep, and you got yourself Romero. Formed in 2009 and hailing from Wausau, Wisconsin, Romero are a blend of stoner/rock and good old fashioned doom metal. Many thanks to Alkahest for bringing this band to my attention, and I couldn’t be all the more pleased, for now I have another stoner/doom metal band to listen too and another band to add to my collection.

Founding member Jeffery Mundt from such bands as Thug and Naked Aggression, has often thought about fronting his own band, but never pursued it seriously. It wasn’t until moving to Northern Wisconsin, acquiring a bass player through craigslist, and an 8 month writing/recording session (where Mundt handled vocals, guitar and drums) that Romero was born. Upon creating a demo and using it as a way to acquire a drummer, it turns out that drummer & vocalist Ben Brooks found out about them and quickly joined the ranks before even hearing how they sounded. And luckily for the band, he liked what he heard. Now with a completed band, Romero started playing shows locally, but in no time they were touring nationwide with other stoner/doom and rock heavyweights such as Jucifer, Weedeater, Clutch and Black Label Society, just to name a few.

One look at the album art and you instantly get the vibe of impending doom that’s about to welcome itself upon that ship, in this case, a monstrous wave. And that’s basically Romero, a crushing, dominating wave of sound upon the listener. Their latest endeavor, Solitaire, contains two songs, “Solitaire” and “El Sentido Morboso”, and if you think that isn’t enough to wet your appetite, you are sadly mistaken. Combining elements of doom, sludge, drone and rock, these songs offer a deep resonating sound that instantly triggers your head to nod back and fourth uncontrollably. It’s a fact, it happened to me.

The EP opens with “Solitaire”, a six and half minute punch to the gut, with it’s slow, low-tuned guitars creating a thick atmosphere which is then combined with drone-like vocals, reminiscent of bands like Sleep and Neurosis, but also at times having qualities akin to The Sword. The music harkens back to the days of Black Sabbath, so it has that classic sound to it right from the get go. Think of the beginning to “War Pigs” and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. The second track, “El Sentido Morboso” picks up the pace a bit, being more rock oriented with a bit of groove, but not to the point as to where it comes off like a different band. It’s still doom and it’s still rocks. I can’t help but think of Clutch at certain times when I listen to this song.

Based on the fact that I’ve only heard a few of their songs and how quickly I’ve become a fan of Romero, I can only wait with bated breath for a full-length. And if it’s anything like Solitaire, I’m sure it will be worth the wait. Be sure to check out their bandcamp page, where they’re offering their EP, which contains a bonus song, “Angry Rider”, for only a few bucks. It’s a small price to pay for such a large amount of sound. - Heavy Blog Is Heavy


"Cosmic Lava (GERMANY) REVIEW"

It is always a pleasure to receive a vinyl copy. This time, ROMERO were kind enough to send me their new 7" which has been released by Triceratrax Records in 2010. The first thing you notice is the beautiful hand screened cover with silver textured ink printed on black cardboard. That looks really promising. Fortunately, both songs are as good or even better than the packaging. Side A kicks off with 'Solitaire' that combines soaring almost anthemic vocals with a slightly downtuned smooth sonic attack. It is clear that ROMERO love to play heavy riffs, but they are embedded in carefully-crafted textures. They are not your next average doom or sludge band and you can feel immediately that ROMERO have something special to offer.

'El Sentido Morboso' occupies the flipside, and reveals a more melodic side of their heavy and crunchy sound. Especially the unobtrusive vocal style provides the song with a nice pop appeal and forms a strong contrast to the massive wall of sound. The guitar is crispy yet shred a special heaviness trail along the song structures. Even in terms of production this 7" is flawless. The overall sound is warm and earthy but at the same time very differentiated and clear without being to polished. On the whole, ROMERO is diverse and unpredictable. If you are looking for something unique, it's time to check out the refreshing heavy sound of this U.S. band. I need more.

(KK)

www.myspace.com/romeroisloud

www.triceratrax.com - Cosmic Lava


"Isthmus REVIEW - Vinyl Cave"

Romero: "Solitaire"/"El Sentido Morboso"
Even heavier and louder -- and sludgier, particularly in the sonically dicey format of a 7-inch at 33-1/3 rpm -- is Wausau trio Romero's debut single. Topside "Solitaire" clocks in at about six and a half minutes of particularly doomy stoner metal, with a bit of a prog-rock influence a la Kyuss. Longtime Madison music followers will likely recognize at least one of the players: Guitarist/singer Jeffrey Mundt played drums in various '90s bands including the Madison version of Naked Aggression and Thug, a group that recorded for the prolific local label Bovine. Drummer/vocalist Ben Brooks leads fellow Wausau progressive hardcore band Poney; the trio is rounded out by bassist Josh Stanchik.

Romero will be heading out for their first trip to the West Coast and back soon, and is already working on their debut album. "We are currently finishing up with the writing and have started doing demos," says Mundt. We hope to start recording just before our tour in March or shortly thereafter. We hope to have an LP out by fall; however, label support could speed up the process considerably."

You can catch Romero live in Madison twice in coming weeks. First is a show at on Saturday, February 12 at Mickey's Tavern; they'll also play a benefit concert for a proposed Madison skatepark on Saturday, February 19 at the High Noon Saloon. The single can be had at either show, and at Ear Wax, Exclusive Company or MadCity Music Exchange. The Triceratrax label is a fairly new Madison outfit; according to its Facebook page, plans are in the works for a Systemic Torment release soon. (Triceratrax, 2010) - Isthmus - The Daily Page


"Madison rockers fundraise for a skateboard park"



Jeanette Dunscombe says she grew up in the skateboard community in Arizona before she moved to Madison 13 years ago. Now that she has two sons learning to grind and flip locally, she is helping Madison build its first outdoor skate park.

She's doing it the way she knows how — booking a rock show.

Dunscombe booked shows for the now-defunct Slipper Club from 2005 to 2007. On Saturday, Feb. 19, at the High Noon Saloon, she'll present a DJ and three bands that will bang out skateboarders' most revered genres — heavy metal and punk rock. The lineup includes Madison's Antiprism, Systemic Torment and DJ Jeremy Thomas. Wausau loud rockers Romero round out the bill.

Saturday's show is a benefit for the Madison Skatepark Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money to build a 20,000-square-foot park the city has added to its 2013 capital budget. The city would locate the facility on the near east side as part of its Central Park proposal.

That doesn't mean the skate park is a done deal. The capital budget allocation for the park is $300,000. The estimated cost of the facility is $750,000.

Enter the Madison Skatepark Fund.

"The city's money is really a challenge match," says Patrick Hasburgh, who identifies himself as the fund's "spokesdude."

Dunscombe says she's approached the High Noon show with the idea that the local skateboarding community needs to be involved. "Skateboarding for me has always been associated with thrash and punk music," says Dunscombe. "So we wanted to book hard-rocking bands."

That association might have something to do with the fact that skateboarders have always had to challenge authority to pursue the sport. "It's illegal to skateboard anywhere in Madison but on a residential street," says Hasburgh. "It feels oppressive to be doing something you enjoy and be given a citation for it."

Antiprism, a group Dunscombe describes as "old-school Madison rock 'n' rollers," naturally fit the show's vibe. The blistering electric guitar riffs that open their songs "Filth Be Damned" and "Obliterate Existence" reveal the band's dark, cathartic style. Their lineup includes guitarist and vocalist Alex Drake, guitarist Chuck Amble, bassist Kurt Johnson and drummer Kristine Drake. They've played in a variety of other Madison bands, including Tormentula, Pachinko and Inspector 12.

Romero's layered guitar work grounds their muscular musical approach. On songs like "El Sentido Morboso," the band's deliberate tempo and guitar hooks provide a somber but accessible sound. Madison's Systemic Torment will speed things up in a hurry when they hammer out the frenetic punk-rock rhythm that's featured on their song "Shark's Cool." DJ Jeremy Thomas will be spinning metal and punk tracks, too.

"I wanted to feature people I knew grew up skateboarding in Madison," says Dunscombe. "I wanted people I knew would have a fever for this."
- Isthmus - The Daily Page


"Madison rockers fundraise for a skateboard park"



Jeanette Dunscombe says she grew up in the skateboard community in Arizona before she moved to Madison 13 years ago. Now that she has two sons learning to grind and flip locally, she is helping Madison build its first outdoor skate park.

She's doing it the way she knows how — booking a rock show.

Dunscombe booked shows for the now-defunct Slipper Club from 2005 to 2007. On Saturday, Feb. 19, at the High Noon Saloon, she'll present a DJ and three bands that will bang out skateboarders' most revered genres — heavy metal and punk rock. The lineup includes Madison's Antiprism, Systemic Torment and DJ Jeremy Thomas. Wausau loud rockers Romero round out the bill.

Saturday's show is a benefit for the Madison Skatepark Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money to build a 20,000-square-foot park the city has added to its 2013 capital budget. The city would locate the facility on the near east side as part of its Central Park proposal.

That doesn't mean the skate park is a done deal. The capital budget allocation for the park is $300,000. The estimated cost of the facility is $750,000.

Enter the Madison Skatepark Fund.

"The city's money is really a challenge match," says Patrick Hasburgh, who identifies himself as the fund's "spokesdude."

Dunscombe says she's approached the High Noon show with the idea that the local skateboarding community needs to be involved. "Skateboarding for me has always been associated with thrash and punk music," says Dunscombe. "So we wanted to book hard-rocking bands."

That association might have something to do with the fact that skateboarders have always had to challenge authority to pursue the sport. "It's illegal to skateboard anywhere in Madison but on a residential street," says Hasburgh. "It feels oppressive to be doing something you enjoy and be given a citation for it."

Antiprism, a group Dunscombe describes as "old-school Madison rock 'n' rollers," naturally fit the show's vibe. The blistering electric guitar riffs that open their songs "Filth Be Damned" and "Obliterate Existence" reveal the band's dark, cathartic style. Their lineup includes guitarist and vocalist Alex Drake, guitarist Chuck Amble, bassist Kurt Johnson and drummer Kristine Drake. They've played in a variety of other Madison bands, including Tormentula, Pachinko and Inspector 12.

Romero's layered guitar work grounds their muscular musical approach. On songs like "El Sentido Morboso," the band's deliberate tempo and guitar hooks provide a somber but accessible sound. Madison's Systemic Torment will speed things up in a hurry when they hammer out the frenetic punk-rock rhythm that's featured on their song "Shark's Cool." DJ Jeremy Thomas will be spinning metal and punk tracks, too.

"I wanted to feature people I knew grew up skateboarding in Madison," says Dunscombe. "I wanted people I knew would have a fever for this."
- Isthmus - The Daily Page


"Sunday Slaylist: Grindcore Karaoke"

The last of our three choices is Solitaire by Romero, if only because it’s so vastly different to everything else Randall has put out through Grindcore Karaoke so far. As Randall himself tweeted earlier this week, “Given Romero’s Helmet meets Melvins “swag” -I’m releasing a lot more than just grindcore through www.grindcorekaraoke.com”. While the free download is just two tracks (if you buy a physical copy, you get a third bonus track), the smoky extended riff-worship of this Wisconsin-based trio appeals to our inner beard-stroker. - Thrash Hits


"A DEAD SPOT OF LIGHT Interview"

Interview with Benjamin Brooks from ROMERO.


The standard opening question: How are you and your band?

BB: Tronned. (ie: Stoned)




Write a bit about the history of Romero. Why did you choose this band and when did everything really start for you? Judging from the short biography at MySpace, some of you are not particularly fresh to the scene, or?

BB: It's true that pre-Romero, members were involved in numerous projects of varying genres. Jeff, our guitarist and front-man, played in Naked Aggression, System and Station, and the Bovine Records act Thug. I played in a few groups, most notably The Dead Hookers, who released a 12” / CD full length a few years back on Dead Beat Records. Also, I still play in my own group, called Poney. As far as the Romero timeline is concerned, I met Jeff in late 2008 through his wife, Miranda, who I worked with at the time. We were pretty good friends right away, but I didn't join the band on the drums until November 2009, about 8 months after the other two started the writing / demoing process. From what I understand, Jeff and Josh actually got together over Craigslist. I believe the story goes that Josh posted an advertisement looking for people to start a “doom” band...maybe “drone”? I'm not sure. Regardless, Jeff stumbled on the post and responded, and the rest is a lost in a vaguely purplish green haze.


Why did you choose to play stoner doom? Do you have some sort of a special relationship to this type of music?

BB: Well, two of us are stoners. That helps a lot. Also – and I'm fairly certain I speak for all of us here – we love the feeling and sound of huge tone. Jeff and Josh, each in their own way, are amplifier worshipers. Although I don't use tubes and speakers, I play drums very loudly. Stoner rock provides the platform and structure to really explore the gargantuan side of rock instrumentation, while still giving us room to drop way down in dynamics and groove. Besides that, who can turn down a really killer riff? Not I.


You have an eight month recording session? At least your MySpace site says so. Pretty impression for a ‘young band’. What did it take you so long? Did you scrap a lot of ideas or did you try to find the right and atmosphere for the music?

BB: I can try to better describe that situation. What the band really had were three separate recording phases, each of which helped push us further towards our own sound. The first phase didn't actually involve me; like I mentioned earlier, I joined after the initial demoing that Jeff and Josh did together. Once I joined, we spent some time bringing me up to speed and writing the dual vocals that are now really a part of Romero's essence, and then we recorded the same tracks they had started with, albeit with me on drum set and back up vox. This all led up to the choice of the three tracks we did with Mark Whitcomb at DNA Studios for the Solitaire single and following EP. As far as the writing process was concerned, I don't remember working very long on anything we ended up scrapping. If it sounded bad when we thought of it, we just didn't play it again. If it ripped our eardrums up, we kept it in the mix. Jeff generally comes to the table with his vision of the structure for a song, and Josh and I help him find the drums and bass parts that fulfill that vision. We're a good team.



How would you sum your music up? What are its core elements and what bands influenced you on your first two recordings?

BB: Loud, crushing, driving; sometimes brutally slow and usually very catchy. We're influenced by a wide variety of rock, metal, hardcore, and punk, but realistically there are some groups I'm sure we were all thinking of while we put these tracks together. KYUSS, Sleep, QOTSA, Tad, The Melvins; throw some Quicksand and Black Sabbath in there. Orange Goblin isn't far behind. I know I was listening to a lot of Baroness, and putting some of Allen's flow from the Blue Record into my parts.




While writing the questions for this interview I have two tracks from you at hand: Solitaire and El Sentido Morboso. Both have similarities in terms of the sound but differ quite considerably in the dynamics, especially in the vocals and in the heaviness. How does the rest of your music sound; compared with these two?

BB: Just as awesome, and not recorded. Yet.

As both appeared on your first ep output as well, I am curious whether you re-recorded or remastered the tracks for the 7”.

BB: Completely re-recorded, mixed, and mastered. See above.



You mention a lot of bands as influences on your MySpace site: Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, The Who, High On Fire, Melvins, Sleep, Clutch, KYUSS, The Sword, Neurosis, Torche, SUNN o))), Floor. Quite a contrast you offer there. From mere doom over drone to rock and a bit of punk as well. How do you try to bring these facets into some sort of cohesion?

BB: That's an interesting question. I think the honest answer is that we don't t - A Dead Spot Of Light (GERMANY)


"StonerandMore REVIEW 12/1/10"

Excellent que ce nouveau groupe de Stoner Doom , Romero , venu du Wisconsin aux USA.
En effet à l'écoute de leurs morceaux figurant sur leur site Myspace et notamment "Solitaire" on est subjugué par le tempo et les riffs lourds à souhait , les chants pénétrants qui me rappelle un autre groupe américain dont je vous ai déjà parlé ici : Black Sleep Of Kali.
Après 1er EP 5 titres "Take the Potion" auto produit sorti en début d'année, ils viennent de sortir un premier Single 2 titres " Solitaire " ...on attend avec impatience un premier LP pour confirmer nos ( très) bonnes impressions !

...& in Google translated English...
Excellent that this new group of Stoner Doom, Romero, who came from Wisconsin, USA. Indeed, listening to their music on their sites including MySpace and "Solitaire" we are overwhelmed by the tempo and heavy riffs to perfection, insightful songs that reminds me of another American band that I've already talked about here: Black Sleep Of Kali.
After the first 5 tracks EP "Take The Potion" auto product released earlier this year, they just released a first single 2 tracks "Solitaire"...eagerly awaited first LP to confirm our (very) good impression! - StonerandMore


"On the Radar: Romero"

Loud, riffy and full of the à la mode style of heavy found in bands like Torche, the Wausau, Wisconsin, trio Romero debut with a raucous self-released 7? called Solitaire. Those who pay attention to such things will note guitarist/vocalist Jeffrey “Madman” Mundt (I don’t know if anyone actually calls him that, but as a fan of Barton Fink, one can hope) is a former drummer of Naked Aggression, but more pivotal to Romero‘s sound than anyone’s past is the grooving riffage, the heavy crashes of drummer/vocalist Ben Brooks and the rumble of Josh Stanchik, which turns an already engaging finale of the first and title-track into a moment of genuine asskickery. Romero will probably be familiar to those acquainted with modern stoner metal, but in both “Solitaire” and “El Sentido Morboso,” they prove they’re definitely worth a look at either their Facebook orBandcamp pages.

Their intent and their experience is clear. Romero doesn’t come off like a “new” band, and I don’t mean that to say their sound is stale, just that they execute these tracks professionally and with a confidence that comes from years of playing. Mundt sticks to a semi-melodic shout vocally, and his riffs are obviously leading the charge, but he has a few flourishes in his playing on “El Sentido Morboso” that work well with the the intricate style of Stanchik, whose low end is a major source of Solitaire‘s appeal. They run the social networking gamut, with the aforementioned sites as well as a MySpace page, YouTube channel and Twitter feed, so the expectation is that one way or another, we’ll be hearing from them again soon. For now, the vinyl is available at any of the links above, and for those who’d stream it first, the Bandcamp player below allows for just that. There’s even a bonus track to go along with the full 7?. - The Obelisk


"Romero Is Indeed Loud"

Romero spent a couple days making a 7" single and a split 7" single with Mark Whitcomb. Most of their tunes clock in at a hefty 7 or so minutes, but here's a sample of their sound. Check out their website www.romeroisloud.com for more info on this smokin' band, and catch them on their upcoming east coast tour. - DNA MUSIC LABS


"Romero Is Indeed Loud"

Romero spent a couple days making a 7" single and a split 7" single with Mark Whitcomb. Most of their tunes clock in at a hefty 7 or so minutes, but here's a sample of their sound. Check out their website www.romeroisloud.com for more info on this smokin' band, and catch them on their upcoming east coast tour. - DNA MUSIC LABS


"good things can happen when punk dudes go metal"

Wausau band Romero proves good things can happen when punk dudes go metal, and even when they delve into stoner-droner territory. Guitarist-vocalist Jeffrey Mundt played drums in Naked Aggression, and drummer-vocalist Ben Brooks handles the same duties in Wausau's epic metal-hardcore hybrid Poney. The trio's riffs (and Joshua Stanchik's ringing basslines) blaze up on Sleep and Sabbath, but Brooks' and Mundt's blown-out yells add a harsher dynamic that keeps Romero out of pot-rock caricature mode. - The Onion


Discography

5 song self-released CD
'Solitaire' 7" vinyl single
'Solitaire 7" + 1' CD EP
'Couch Lock' cassette single
'Couch Lock' CD single
'Take The Potion' LP/Cass/CD

Photos

Bio

A clever blend of classic & modern rock & metal sounds, saturated with memorable hooks, monstrous riffs, chest pounding rhythms & irrepressible vocal harmonies. Thick, gigantic layers of guitars complimented by intelligent drumming and an utter wall of earth pummeling bass. ROMERO is considered in the Sounds Like category of Queens Of The Stoneage, Baroness, The Melvins & The Sword.

Romeros Jeffrey Mundt spent most of the 90s behind the drum kit for a variety of bands including Bovine Records' THUG & punk legends, NAKED AGGRESSION. A long-time guitar player & songwriter, he often dabbled with fronting a band, but never pursued it seriously. Enter: a move to northern WI, a random Craigslist ad, a casual writing and recording session (with Mundt handling vocals, guitar & drums!) & Romero was born! Rumors of the project peaked the interest of drummer & vocalist Ben Brooks, he volunteered and was quickly hired.

Romero was formed in late 2009 in northern WI and started playing live immediately. Very often.

October 2010 brought the band's first release, the 7" vinyl record "Solitaire". Released independently on Triceratrax Records, the single received rave reviews from all over the world. In February of 2011, the single was re-released online by GRINDCORE KARAOKE, a label headed by J. Randall from RELAPSE Records' Agoraphobic Nosebleed. To date, the single has been downloaded over 10,000 times and has been purchased, shared and traded by thousands more via online music blogs & retailers.

With many local and regional shows under their belts, ROMERO took the show nation-wide as they completed their first national tour in spring of 2011. They have recently shared the stage with the likes of The Sword, Jucifer, Weedeater, Clutch, Dead Meadow, Skeletonwitch, Black Label Society and other dyed-in-the-wool heavyweights.

2012 brought the addition of bass player Steve Stanczyk to replace original bass player, Josh Stanchik. Yeah, the name thing is weird, isn't it? On 4/20/12, the single "Couch Lock" was released online via GRINDCORE KARAOKE as well as on a limited edition cassette. The packaging for this release features unique 3D artwork and includes 3D glasses.

The band just released the full length "Take The Potion" LP on January 29, 2013. (available for FREE DOWNLOAD @ http://www.listentoromero.com) The 7 song / 42 minute CD is enclosed in a deluxe die-cut gatefold case and features artwork and packaging designed entirely by the band. ROMERO was also able to complete a successful KIckstarter campaign to fund the vinyl release. The vinyl version is pressed on 3 different colors of 150 gram deluxe vinyl. As for the rest of 2013, the band intends to continue to tour until the wheels fall off.

ROMERO spreads like a weed.

HEAVY - LOUD - VERY, VERY HIGH.

Band Members