Country of Origin: Russia
Record Label: Independent
Year of Release: 2002
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