We Are The Romans
Hydra Head Records
have only ever heard one other Botch release, and I believe it was some sort of singles collection, or something of that nature. It was rather good, but didn't particularly impress me all that much. It was just some jangly math-metal; good, but not good enough to obsess over. We Are The Romans is along those same lines, but (for whatever reason) much better. Perhaps time has been kind to Botch, or my memory of them is inaccurate...at any rate, this is good.
At times, the guitar work is a bit like Eulcid- single notes plucked two octaves higher than whatever the bassist is playing, held together by impressive playing on the drummers part. Most of this CD, however, is filled with typical Botch type guitar walk downs and effects, inaudible bass and weird time signatures- all coupled, of course, with the “singer’s” strained screams. It really isn't as bad as it sounds, and while I maintain that this is a very good disc, it also must be known that Botch is Botch and therefore rather ‘typical’ once you’ve heard a few releases.
I have no complaints, and I’m not exactly sure why I enjoy this CD. Other bands have done the single string picking coupled with power chords (for emphasis, of course). Other bands play in “crazy” time signatures that inhibit the listeners ability to nod their heads on the beat. And many a band are often overkill in both areas, creating records that seem to be simply one long song divvied up into manageable 5 or 6 minute pieces for easy consumption. Botch manages to create enough ‘atmosphere’ (in varying degrees) to keep things interesting, thus avoiding the pitfalls of other hardcore bands. Most notably, Botch avoids incessant repetition that they could easily become trapped within the convenience of. So many bands rely on one good chord progression to carry a song and expect the results to be new and exciting.
Overall, I believe this is worth picking up if you enjoy good hardcore, or want to experience Botch for the first time.
Reviewed by: Al Charity
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01