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Roman Holiday

Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, The New Frontier lounge

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I like this job. It makes me do stuff that I want to do, but never get around to without a kick in the pants. I started a blog of my own a few years ago, and said to myself, "OK, now you've got a reason to get off your ass and start seeing local bands you don't know."

Turns out it helps a lot to be accountable to someone besides me (this is also why I miss being in school: I like writing academic essays, as long as somebody else is making me).

The bands won't always be good, of course. It's a local scene, after all. There are good bands and bad bands and bands getting better with every show. But it turns out there are a lot of the good ones around here these days.

The band of the week this time around is Roman Holiday who opened last night for Umber Sleeping and Motopony at The New Frontier Lounge. Roman Holiday looks like a bunch of indie kids, complete with the man-cleavage that comes from abnormally stretched T-shirt necks - you know the look I'm talking about, surely, if you go to many shows in Tacoma, as we are rife with indie kids, and indie kid bands, inventing their own chords and mumbling a lot.

But appearances are deceiving. You'll find no dissonant noisemaking here. Roman Holiday is pop rock, through and through. Melody, harmony, real chords - all of that. Actual singing, even!

A table-neighbor during the set was overheard saying that the band was "tight, but not doing anything new." And I can understand that perspective, I suppose. There are no boundaries of creativity being pushed to the limit, here. But this is what pop rock is based on. Pop is the abbreviation of "popular" for a reason. It is about manipulating styles and motifs that people already know they like.

So while I will grant my table-neighbor's premise that Roman Holiday is not groundbreaking and revolutionary, I will stipulate that this does not make them "boring", as she went on to conclude. I say it actually gives them an awful lot of room in which to be thoroughly awesome.

The music is good. It drives, it grooves, it occasionally soars. It does the things that a good pop rock band needs to do, and that so many crappy pop rock bands don't get - things with melody and harmony and backing vocals and dynamics. I've been listening to the four songs on their MySpace on loop for the last hour, and you know what? I'm not bored.

If you're sitting around at the end of the week, looking for something worth doing, you could certainly do worse than a trip out to Puyallup's Liberty Theater, where Roman Holiday will release their new album Friday, Jan. 15, which I look forward to buying.

And now, if any of you are bored of me jabbering on about rock bands month after month, in two weeks I will write up a band billed on the venue's Web site as "Greek Traditional." No, really.

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Comments for "Roman Holiday" (1)

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Kirsten Howard said on Oct. 18, 2011 at 10:47am

in the year 2010 my brothers band a.k.a roman holiday rocked the socks off their crowd they are determined to make the bast and be the best but also try to prove that love will always hurt but you can always make a come back.

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