Live review from 16th Anniversary Party:
2. Midnight Summer Blue
5. Release me!
6. Winning Days
Cry!Romeo brands themselves as an experienced four piece band coming from previous rock backgrounds creating a “brand of fearless indie rock that illustrates the moth’s lifecycle”.
Something to do with flying into lights and getting burnt, apparently.
Is that an apt description of Cry!Romeo? Well the flying close to the sun bit, sure. They’re absolutely an experimental indie band with lots of combined experience across a variety of genres.
Let’s take a look at the first song on the night Goodbye….Queen with the pumping viral chorus where everyone (not just the band) chants ‘The righteous! The bad!’ This song was alternative and punk with the exception of a Middle 8 with baroque arpeggios.
The overall sound reflected this and was very alternative with clear influences from disco, pop, rock, punk and a bunch of other genres. Do all these identities work together? I don’t personally believe anything doesn’t work when it comes to music – so it does, and also somethings doesn’t. Goodbye….Queen was definitely fun and so was Midnight Summer Blue, one of the band’s signature songs which has a Maroon 5-esque quasi-disco chorus sung in head voice.
While their music is interesting, the tightness of their live performance that night left a little to be desired. The rhythm guitar and the drums were sometimes a bit out of sync – out of beat? No, out of sync. There’s a voice in my head that told me that. It’s not wrong, it’s just not there. Given, these moments were anomalies in what was otherwise a great performance by a band full of original music that’s been an Underground staple of a number of years.
Underground is the home of Hong Kong’s original music and a band like Cry!Romeo is exactly the type of entrée we normally serve.
If I had to put my own description to the (although I do love their moth metaphor), I’d say that Cry!Romeo is in the camp of early 2010s ‘big reverb’ bands. You know, the alternative bands that popped up and turned their effects on max? Ok, Cry!Romeo hasn’t gone quite that far, but they’ve definitely got a similar vibe. It’s the type of indie band that has 20 sections in a 3 minute song – the complex mixtape that is not always ideal but quirky and fun nonetheless.
To be honest, that’s the beauty of being an indie band in a welcoming music scene. You want to falsetto for an extended coda? Go ahead. You want to jump down three octaves in the middle of a song. Go ahead. You want to go too far, fall back, go too far again, fall back; again and again because it doesn’t matter as long as the final, final, FINAL product is brilliant? Go ahead!
Oh! I get the moth metaphor now!
– Cyril Ma
Live Review from Underground Rocks!
1. Midnight Summer
4. Days of Poison
5. Seek & Destroy
6. Winning Days
這可能是他們第一次在the Underground所以有些緊張吧，主音想表演獨特的台風卻顯得力不從心，其中更有忘詞的情況出現， 曲風以alt rock來說足以令觀眾享受其中，一些嘴巴唱法更讓筆者想起［Alexandros] 的歌，當中在Escape 一曲中更分享背後的感動故事，這一連串不同類型的歌曲都反映Cry!Romeo想向觀眾表演了自己的所有，但歌詞上卻聽不太清楚，令到筆者不太分辨到歌與歌之間氛圍和內容的不同，這也是美中不足的地方。
– Danice Yan
Kicking off the Underground was four-piece HK Indie band Cry!Romeo. Heavily influenced by British pop rock, these guys looked the part with their stylish vintage clothing and Egg sporting the Union Jack on his Gretsch guitar.
The band members are not new to the Hong Kong indie scene, they make up parts of Velvette Vendetta (Jacky), Good Fellas (Egg & Jim), and The Train (HK) (also Egg & Jim). So, you know before they even start their set that they have got the goods, as these bands I just mentioned are all worth a listen.
Their first song ‘Midnight Summer‘ fit their attire and gave it a feeling of Hong Kong meets Kasabian. It had a catchy chorus that was sung by both Egg and Jacky who are the guitarists/dual vocalists of the band. The rhythm section was solid with Jim on the drums and Vinz playing bass.
In the next song ‘Voices‘ the lead vocals were swapped and this time Jacky took the lead, or was it Egg? Then they both combined for some great harmonies which were soothing and yet foreboding. It led up to a crescendo that, once hit, made you feel like you were on a carousel and you didn’t want to get off.
‘Escape‘ was dedicated to a friend who passed away and had a more sombre mood to it. The vocals weren’t as clear in this song and I struggled to understand what they were saying because the music was overpowering the vocals. If I could hear the lyrics I think I would have a stronger connection to the song. Musically it was great and it had a middle break that lead into an intense theatrical crescendo. If you told me that this was a theme song for an anime, I would believe you.
‘Days of Poison‘ took a little steam off their delivery, but still kept that dark and sombre feeling. The song really catches you with the ‘ah, ahs’ that make it easy for you to sing along to.
Up next Cry!Romeo got back to their Signature British pop rock with ‘Seek & Destroy‘ which had a bassline akin to something from Pulp Fiction. Then, the chorus developed into a rock symphony that said baby, "I want ya!"
The boys were onto a winner with ‘Winning Days‘. The bassline in this song was so cool which morphed into a bit of a march, but then pulled back into something more groovy and pleasing to the ears. "Where do we go now?" were the only lyrics I heard in this song which ended with a moshpit on the dancefloor.
Cry!Romeo were great and by the end of the set the Underground was packed to the brim. I loved their look and style, I think it worked in their favour to improve their stage presence. The crowd was warmed up and the chorus of ‘Winning Days’ was still echoing in our heads long after the band finished their set. They would be a hard first act to follow.
– Cain McInerney