Rome Hero Foxes Release New Album "18 Summers"


Rome Hero Foxes’ sophomore album, “18 Summers” is everything you never knew you needed. The quintet hailing from Houston, Texas, makes modern rock music with a pinch of a vintage vibe creating a dreamy atmosphere among catchy guitar licks, solid rhythms, and mesmerizing lyrics. Drawing influence from surf rock and indie pop, the band fused the two in “18 Summers” while making sure to include their own unique sound. Whether it’s the “Oooo’s” in “Be Your Side” or the brutal honesty in “Chest Piece”, we are sure that you will inevitably fall in love with Rome Hero Foxes’ new album “18 Summers”.

Released on July 27, 2018, the thirty five minute long album takes you into the world of Rome Hero Foxes and brings you on their musical journey. The band consists of CJ Burton (vocals & guitar), Andrew Hagan (vocals & keys), Michael Fox (guitar), Emilio Garcia-Caro (bass), and Adrian Romero (drums). Formed in 2012, the band has worked hard to establish their sound and evolved along the way. Diverting away from the sound of their past EP “Horoscope”, released in 2017, Rome Hero Foxes experiments with new sounds and techniques in order to create “18 Summers”.

The album begins with “Lost in a Room”, one of the three singles released off “18 Summers”. As the song fades in, originally beginning with drums and later joined by guitar, the evident influence from surf rock immediately helps to create the song’s setting as lead singer, CJ Burton, sings, “Lost in a room, laying on the floor...” allowing listeners to imagine his state of despair and confusion. Feeling lonely, the yearning for comfort and affection has Burton questioning to remain with the frustrating and dissatisfied, Chelsea.

Right after “Lost in a Room”, comes “Break Your Own Bones”, an apology-turned-justification. When reaching the chorus, the calm and collected protagonist shifts to a upset and vengeful outlook. Singing “So lie your way to safety but I'll still see you in hell, And thankfully you didn't break nobody but yourself”. Discussing the feeling of being stripped completely of all attachment one once had due to betrayal, Rome Hero Foxes’ unapologetic honesty about paranoia and insecurity showcases their intention to write truthful yet relatable lyrics.

The album’s fourth song and title track “18 Summers”, opens up with a play on words “I spent about 18 summers. late teen bummer” and quickly introduces tragedy as love arises through empathy. A significant other shines a light of hope during a time of loss for the narrator. As the song reaches the bridge, it slows down as the beat creeps, suggesting that the narrator finds a new lover as a victim. Ultimately emphasizing a shift in tone before speeding up with an “OOoooOOoOooOOOooOOoOaAAaaAAaH” as a precursor to the chorus.

Following “18 Summers” is “Be Your Side”, slowing things down, sweet harmonies joined by Beach-Boys-like “oohs and ahhs” express sorrow as melancholy guitar chords set in. Originally written in 2015 a couple days after Burton graduated highschool, the song had remained unshared as the band was waiting to release it at the perfect moment. It became clear when mixing “18 Summers”, that it would have a place on the album. “Be Your Side” has aged like fine wine. Still relevant, and an oldie but goodie. For a song that only has two verses and a chorus repeated twice, it sure says a lot. A punch to the heart with an outpouring of emotions is only a tiny sample of what you will experience when listening to “Be Your Side”.

Another song I’d like to highlight from “18 Summers” includes “Don’t Close the Door”. The touch of a shaking tambourine and synths in the background make the beachy vibe from surf rock influence much more evident. Imagine the birth child of Hippo Campus and Vampire Weekend, and you’d get Rome Hero Foxes. The group incorporates sounds from both bands but has its own angsty sophisticated edge.

The album ends on “Good for You”, a perfect song to end on. Although the lyrics lay the basis for the song, the emotion felt in the music is what speaks for the band the most. Sharing these stories through music bypasses the band’s ability to feel vulnerable and allows them to embrace their hardships.

Overall, there is quite a bit of angst included in Rome Hero Foxes’ new album “18 Summers”. Pouring emotion into a song seems to be a great way to cope for the band, after all it makes great music. Rome Hero Foxes supply songs for all times of life, whether it is heartbreak, a moment of celebration, or romance. Tell your friends, co-workers, strangers, moms, dads, dogs, and cats about “18 Summers”, because we are sure they’ll love it just as much as we do… maybe even more.

Music, ReviewKeely Caulder