It was about 4 weeks ago that I first ventured across to romeocrow.com to get an idea of the sort of music Romeo Crow performs and find out about his back story. Encouraged to visit by an automated message response via Twitter, I was told that if I visit I can get my hands on 6 free songs! Jesus, he’s giving them away after all the fuss Taylor Swift went through to complain about not earning enough from Spotify?! This guy must be a few cards short of a deck!
Then I got that sinking feeling. What if this is one of those elaborate hoaxes where you’re encouraged to download something under the guise of it being something awesome, but then it turns out to be a virus that invades your computer and starts taking over all the appliances in your house and before you know it, you’ve got no feet and the fridge is chasing after you while you desperately try to drag your body with its now mutilated stumps up the stairs! Holy fuck! OK, maybe I’ve let my imagination run away with me a bit, but that sounds a darn sight better than ‘Norton pops up an error message telling you there’s a threat with a big red flashing exclamation mark’.
So what was I to do? Was Romeo Crow genuinely going ‘I love music and I love it so much I want to share it with you. Look, you can get it from YouTube for fuck all anyway, just fucking take it and stop being so distrusting’? Or was it an undercover killer fridge activating virus? The email with 6 download links dropped into my inbox and I was still undecided. What did I do? Nothing; zip; squat. I left the email there while I pondered my dilemma and blogged about some other things in the meantime.
Why am I telling you this? Because today I took the plunge and accepted the download for Romeo Crow’s song ‘Shoes’. I could have downloaded all 6 songs in one hit but the file was so sodding huge that my computer told me it couldn’t scan it for viruses if I went ahead with the download (see, still not completely sold on the whole ‘trust me, I’m a musician’ concept). 1 song would do for now and then if he was shit, I could just pretend it didn’t work and move on with my life. Boy was I wrong!!
Immediately judging a book by its cover, I’d seen the pictures of Romeo on his website and made the assumption he’d sound somewhere between Newton Faulkner and Jason Mraz. He was holding an acoustic guitar after all. I could not have been more wrong! ‘Shoes’ is an awesome funky blues rock n roll song miles above the calibre I’d anticipated. I listened to it 3 times over, desperately trying to pin down where I’d heard a voice like that before and landed somewhere between Buckcherry and Faith No More. At times he even sounds like AFI’s Davey Havok – the Sing the Sorrow Davey, not that ‘Hey, Miss Murder can I’ one – from This Time Imperfect.
I’ve only listened to one of his songs and watched one of his lyric videos (‘Hot’s for You’) on YouTube and I’m sold, even if he does stand and brush his long hair back exactly like Andrew WK in Party Hard.
Making the decision that I needed to listen to more to be able to make an informed decision – 3 is the magic number, remember – I took a peek at his cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ and had another listen to ‘Shoes’ while I was at it. I’m still half expecting one of his songs to suddenly turn into Play That Funky Music, such a funky blues spin does his voice put on his songs.
I chose ‘Would You Hold it Against Me’ as the final song. Yes I know, that means I’ve listened to 4, but a lyric video technically doesn’t count because really he’s showcasing his acting skills. A much slower track than ‘Shoes’, it still fits into the blues rock n’ roll genres. I can picture myself sitting in a dingy bar somewhere with a massive bourbon on the rocks and a fat cigar on the go, listening to Romeo play.
I strongly recommend taking the time out to listen to him, or having a flick through his videos on YouTube, or while you’re at it check out if his fiction writing is any good (I don’t know, I didn’t check). This Londoner is well worth it.
Rights to featured image owned by Romeo Crow. Obtained via Amazon.