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Music review from Progressive for album 'All Day Home' (in English)

Music review from Progressive for album

Released: 2002
Label: self-released
Cat. No.:
Total Time: 52:23
Listening to the first track on Romislokus' third release All Day Home, I was transported back to those quirky days in the early 80s when German artist Falco had a hit with 'Rock Me Amadeus.' The frisky digital percussion, and, in fact, the entire rhythm make 'Cool' very danceable. With the second track, the artier 'Dreg,' there are at first hints of solo Peter Gabriel, especially in the way vocalist Yuri Smolnikov sings, though he does so, understandably, with an accent. But you will also think of recent King Crimson during parts of 'Dreg,' especially during the 'chorus' (the title repeated several times) where the arrangement takes on a particularly angular aspect. The intro, however, is rich and creamy with smooth keys taking the lead, giving away to shimmering guitars.
Much of the album is filled with chiming guitars, sometimes taking on a twangy, country tone, as in 'Name,' which also at times sounds a bit like a polka-tango, and gliding into slide guitar, as in 'Tree By The Wall.' Of course there are 'real' chimes in 'Dreg.' The French-sung 'L'Amour' adds in sci-fi keyboard effects, in a piece that has Smolnikov sounding a bit like Mark Knofler (as he does elsewhere, too). 'I'm Tired' draws in a bit of funk to proceedings, ironically making this an energetic piece despite a rather muddy mix and subpar vocals. During 'If,' I kept thinking of the smooth jazz hit 'Captain Of Your Heart' by Double*. Smolnikov's deep, comforting cadences exude warmth, underscoring the sentiment of the piece – roughly when in doubt about me, 'remember my voice.' Smolnikov's manner is somewhat sleepy in this piece where percussion takes dominance. In to this mix is added the neo-progish 'Freedom.'
Guitarists Mikhail Voronov and Smolnikov both have a very fluid style of playing and this is one of the highlights of the band and of the album. Beneath and around this Evgeniy Gorelov plays liquid, spacey keyboard phrases. Mikhail Brovarnik is the man behind the often throbbing bass lines. Dmitry Shelemetev plays the drums, with Maksim Karavaev 'plays' computers (which may actually accounted for the swirly and spacey tones, as well) and Irina Yunakovskaya adds cello to the mix on the last track 'Captain Zero,' a pleasant if understated track. Somber.
Even with the opening track, the overall feel is very dark, gloomy. Partially due to Smolnikov's deep voiced delivery, partly due to the fairly sparse arrangements. Other than 'L'Amour' and the Italian-language 'Persici' (Perches On Ice), the lyrics are in English. This latter track sounds at times like a very mellow version of Fish's 'Lucky'. Because the lyrics are awkwardly phrased, it's hard to get more than a general gist of what they're about. However, Smolnikov has such a smoothly flowing vocal style, that it doesn't really matter. It sounds very good, though also at times a little dreary. For that matter, 'Name' also sounds a little dreary, though the guitars comes shining through.
This is a very nice release from Romislokus – the music is the what stands out here, as the band have a very nice sound. Especially when they eschew the digital drums, or least the strongly digital sounding drums. Without them, there is a warmth to the arrangements that takes some of the chill of the gloominess. Not entirely progressive but flirting on the fringes, just on the outside of the dividing line. Russian prog is emergent right now, at least as far as the rest of the world is concerned, and Romislokus is leading the charge of a new crop of bands.
You can download the album from the band in MP3 format, which includes three bonus tracks: 'Happy New Year,' 'To Be Alone With You,' and 'Love' (English version of 'L'Amour').
Rating: 3.75/5

*at least, this is the only reference I find. The info says this came out 1986, but it seems like it should be older by about 10 years. Nevertheless, the interesting note is that lists similar artists as Caravan, McDonald & Giles, Kevin Ayers, and … Liquid Tension Experiment. LTE? Perhaps 'COYH' was the anomaly…

June, 2003.

Stephanie Sollow

Music review from for album 'Single 2003' (in English)

Music review from for album

Although the world of music is looking towards Russia these days because of the teen sensations T.A.T.U., a band like Romsilokus will hopefully not go unnoticed. This independent album features a 7 member band that is reminiscent of early to mid-eighties new wave for the most part. The band’s synthesized guitar sound, computer samples, nice use of keyboards, and even keeled vocals will surely bring to mind artists like David Byrne (Talking Heads), Falco, The Eurythmics, and Peter Gabriel. There are some songs here that incorporate world influence also, like the extremely catchy 'Lucky Man' with its penny whistle and pulsating bass. I’d say that Romislokus has a lot in common with the more straightforward sounding parts of Peter Gabriel’s solo career. The musicianship here is excellent, the songs (although a bit on the laid back sounding side) are interesting to listen to, and it the band delivers a great cover of Paul McCartney’s 'Wild Life', can you really ask for much more than that? Fans of independent music will find a nice haven in this album.
Key Song: 'Captain Zero'

June, 2003.

Mark Fisher

Music review from Prognosis for album 'All Day Home' (in English)

Music review from Prognosis for album

Country: Russia
Year: 2002
Style-Genre: Progressive Rock
If You Like * Romislokus * then try these: Roxy Music - Ultravox - Ure, Midge
All Day Home is the 3rd release by the russian band Romislokus. The band showed some evolution on their compositions and musicianship. Most of the tracks are sung in English (except one in Italian, and one in French) and also, the music has a more commercial approach compared to the earlier releases. However, these changes hasn't decreased the quality of the band's work, rather, they tell us of a band in evolution who is seeking new horizons, trying to reach a wider audience, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Romislokus propose a mix of elements from their influence bands blended togheter with their own ideas, resulting in the finest popish/alternative progressive rock out there. The ambient/atmospheric keyboard textures from the older records are still in place here, but the guitars gained more distortion standing out a little more. In summary the music delivered in this record can barely be described as progressive rock, I'd rather say it fits more into some sort of sophisticated alternative ambient rock per se. It should appeal to fans of Ultravox or Roxy Music.
Prognosis - Progressive Rock & Fusion

March, 2003.

Bruno Aun

Music review from The Dutch Progressive Rock Page for album 'All Day Home' (in English)

Music review from The Dutch Progressive Rock Page for album

Country of Origin: Russia
Record Label: Independent
Year of Release: 2002
Time: 44:49
Info: Website
Samples: Website
Tracklist: Cool (3:35), Dreg (4:32), L'Amour (2:55), If (5:37), Freedom (4:17), I'm Tired (4:08), Name (2:51), Persici (4:37), Tree By the Wall (6:09), Captain Zero (5:42)
Russian band Romislokus are back with a new album which this time sees the band targeting a new market. Their previous material, though featuring some great material had a main drawback in that all vocals were sung in Russian, which served as a limiting factor to the band's potential success abroad. With All Day Home the band have resorted to English lyrics (except for a French and Italian track), though this has also had an effect on their musical style. Gone are the lush musical styles with gothic overtones and instead we have seemingly light tunes based along the lines of bands such as early U2 and INXS.
Such a perception was further enhanced when listening to the opening track Cool, with its catchy open guitar riffs and ear-friendly chorus. By no means am I saying that this music is not good, far from it, it's actually extremely well done yet I must admit that I was enamoured by the cold calculated nature of their early albums. Dreg sounds much more familiar to the band's previous material with some great interplay between the warm strings and cold goth-like rock as well as an intriguing chorus structure.
Though not a fan of French lyrics, L'Amour has the band moving in a more spacey direction, a move which continues on If. Here the band really seem to come out and are in their element with some great synthesiser work and effects. The pace is slowed down which allows the dramaticity of certain instruments to be exploited to the full alongside Yuri Smolnikov's deep vocals. Freedom has a more hard rock direction, which though in itself a good track, obscures somewhat the dramatic element of the band, which in my opinion is one of their forte's.
Thus following the rather shaky first half of the album the band seems to find its bearings on the second part of the album and really comes alive. I'm Tired has a funky line running through it with some of the guitar work very reminiscent of David Rhodes' work with Peter Gabriel. Name and Persici have a delightful feel good factor about their style, thought both are rather different tracks. Once again the progressive nature of the band is obscured, though the lush backing strings create a wonderfully full atmosphere.
The final two pieces that also conclude the album are reworkings of tracks that had originally appeared on the excellent Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn. Both tracks actually highlight what is missing in the tracks that appear previous to them on All Day Home. Both Tree By the Wall and Captain Zero show how Romislokus manage to combine elements of varying time signatures, use of original backing licks mainly in the form of the mournful cello sound as well as synthesisers. Is this the new face of progressive rock?
Having heard All Day Home, over and over again, I must admit that I do not feel that the album is a step forward musically. The new material is somewhat more mainstream, though I must applaud the band's ability to shift from their mother Russian to more universal languages. The final two tracks are also the stand out tracks of the album, and they are a case in point that the band should stick to the formula of moving beyond their musical boundaries and retain that experimental nature rather than move towards a more commercial and mainstream style. Nevertheless, the music is great and will not be a disappointment to the casual listener.
Conclusion: 7 out of 10

February, 2003.

Nigel Camilleri

Music review from Progressiveears for album 'All Day Home' (in English)

Music review from Progressiveears for album

Member: ffroyd - 01/20/03
Russian band Romislokus had a very busy 2002. Early in the year they put out the CD 'Vinyl Spring Digital Autumn' and wouldn't you know they also managed to squeeze another great one out before the year was over. The progress the band has made between the two releases is astounding as well.
Most of you probably haven't heard them so a short description may be in order. Romislokus (the meaning of their name is still basically a mystery) have a style that I'd call pop/modern rock but what sets them apart from many other bands is their liberal use of synths and textures. Not only are there strange wonderful noises that are dominant throughout the music but there are also many atmospheric sounds that create a nice mood. There's also the excellent cello work of Irina Yunakovskaya. Her wonderful playing is sometimes hard to pick out but it does add nice dimension to the music. All Day Home is much fuller than it's predecessor and they are continually experimenting with new sounds. They've also aquired a real drummer now so the rythmns sound much less mechanical but the electronic percussion element does remain.
Another major difference on this disc is that singer/lyricist Yuri Smolnikov has switched from singing in Russian to English. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. On the good side, his deep voice still sounds excellent and now English speaking folks can understand what he's saying. On the bad side, they lyrics get a bit confusing through the translation. I only have a minor problem with it though, it's not enough to ruin the album at all, in fact some lyrics are quite humorous like: 'Welcome the knight of hot-dogs and donuts, You came to know what is the difference, Between you and lover of raviolis and fried potatoes, Who are you: dipsomaniac or magus?' English is not the only language represented on the CD though. There is also a song sung in French and another in Italian.
My favorite songs on the album so far are 'Dreg' (the lyrics I quoted in the last paragraph), 'If' (which contains some amazingly beautiful keyboard parts) and also the last song, 'Captain Zero' (a beautiful and powerful ballad that closes out the CD). In closing, I'd say that folks who enjoy bands like Marillion and Porcupine Tree will find enough to like about Romislokus. They do have a very adventurous attitude and they aren't trying to sound like any other band. I hope 2003 is an even more productive year for this excellent band.

January, 2003.

Floyd Bledsoe



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