Paul Lewis & Romeo Rage - Sky's Rust

Paul Lewis & Romeo Rage - Sky's Rust

Paul Lewis points to David Bowie and Prince as primary musical influences, and one immediately hears traces of Bowie's sometimes operatic vocalisms during the highly charged singing during these eight-tracks. The way his voice jumps into a higher register during "Send Letters," is a prime example of his approach. And much like Prince, Lewis (with his band Romeo Rage) is comfortable incorporating synthisizers and guitars into the mixes on these songs.

Lyrically, Lewis also fills his songs with intriguing word combination. At the beginning of "Black" he advices, "Take the next train home/To the twilight zone." Clearly, there is an otherworldly element to his musical imagination. With that said, though, the album closes with the traditional murder ballad, "In The Pines." It starts off with whistling the melody, and then proceeds with a relatively traditional, acoustic performance of this familiar (and spooky) cover. That eerie whistling returns again, like an accompanying ghost.

There's plenty of sonic variety contained within this relatively small package. For instance, "Little Bit of Rain" grooves to a slight grunge rhythm. Lewis sings this one with a lower, more guttural vocal tone, which reveals how he has many stylistic tones at his disposal.

As you might imagine, especially with song titles like "Black," song subject matter here is many times very dark. "Ghost Town," for instance, carries with it a strong resemblance to Gothic music. No matter the genre reference, though, it's Lewis' strong, sincere singing that carries this music along the top tier, from beginning to end.


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