Artist Archives: Roma

“… Roma’s energy and dynamism are genuinely compelling.” – Francis DiMenno, The Noise

Often compared to Nirvana, Roma is a young and energetic threesome writing music that kicks in the adrenaline and won’t let you sleep. Don’t expect soul searching, tears, or self sacrifice. With Roma, it’s all about the rock.

Roma formed in the late nineties with former bassist Dustin Brown. Soon they moved from their hometown of Lewiston, Maine to rock the competitive and attitude filled Boston music scene. Catching the eyes of several insiders on the scene, they scored tracks on numerous compilations. “Nothing,” which appears on Twisted Rico 2000, was a real eye opener – it was obvious the band was going places. Caged Heat’s Jill Kurtz was so floored that she asked Roma to be her backing band for several shows which included opening for a sold out Dick Dale concert.

When Brown got tired of the rat race and moved back to Maine, the boys recruited fellow Lewiston buddy Randy Silva, who has helped the band step it up on Bass. The result is a solid wall of rock brought alive by rocket powered vocals, big block timing, and a bottomless gas tank.

“Devon Irish, the lead singer of Roma, must go through a bottle of Chloroseptic sore throat spray after each show.” – Sean, 24/7

Already gaining praise with their chaotic live shows, Roma had something to prove when they entered the studio in late 2000. They had to translate this energy and sheer abandonment to a recording. Roma scored recording time with Nick Zampiello and Marc Schleicher at New Alliance recording studio. This match proved perfect as the band came out with 13 solid tracks, forever referred to as “Surrender On Demand”.

“Devon’s inspired vocal take has the force of a train and it makes you believe in him.” – Jason Landry, NE Performer

The groups debut album “Surrender On Demand” opens with the unabashed punk onslaught of “Desperate” and never lets down. Devon’s singing and guitar playing is riveting, while Aaron plays hard, fast, and unrelentless drums throughout. Songs like “It’s A Shame” (which also appears on Twisted Rico’s Coolest Cats compilation), “Chalk Dust”, and “Thinking Of You” are powerhouse rockers that are catchy and accessible. On “Thinking Of You” the boys recruited another pair of Boston veterans Meaghan and Kate McLaughlin to add some nifty background vocals, while on “American Standard,” Jill Kurtz, returns the favor for the Caged Heat gigs and adds her unmistakable vocal and harmonica genius. “Surrender On Demand” is the kind of recording that will grab your attention and never let go.

Scott’s Backyard Bash

Sometime in 2001… I think it was fall… Roma was invited to play a backyard party in Mashpee, MA. We had a great time!

Recovered from an old Hi8 video. Almost lost to the sands of time! The tape was damaged, and had to be spliced in a few spots, so just try to ignore the blue screen sections.

Twisted Rico’s Coolest Cats CD Release Party

August 8, 2001 – A full set from Roma at T.T. the Bear’s Place, with our (at the time) newly added bass player, Randy Letourneau (other members include Devon Irish, Guitar/Vocals; and Aaron Gill, Drums/Vocals). The video includes some post-show banter and random interviews with members of the audience (including Lewiston Burning’s very own Jason St. Onge), taped by our friend Jon Bergeron.

We also caught a few songs from The Decals set (taped by Devon Irish).

Recovered from an old Hi8 video.