Delaware-based project Paul Lewis & Romeo Rage struts a rock sound with vigor and atmosphere on the new album Sky’s Rust. Led by singer/songwriter/producer Paul Lewis, the act shows a knack for engaging hooks and darkly enveloping soundscapes alike.
“Romeo Rage is what happens when two guys boldly blur several genres and marry West Coast riffs with East Coast edge. The result is a sort of controlled chaos that makes for a unique audio journey,” says drummer John Sanders, whose technical drumming and jazz fusion inspiration play excellently throughout the album.
The gripping “Send Letters” intrigues in its use of strings amidst guitar distortion, with the intrigue-filled “come a long way with me,” verses crawling with atmospheric rock momentum. The strings’ gradual re-emergence adds to the theatrical, riveting production, with hints of Ozzy in the vocal tone. Strings also enamor on the cinematic success “The Shift,” where dreamy acoustic reverberations and brooding strings pair with resonating vocals. Lewis’ expertise as a film composer, for feature films such as Days of Power, shines on tracks like these.
“Ghost Town” conjures a smoky, steadily unfolding allure with gravelly vocals driving into a rousing “someone pull me free,” chorus — showing shades of Pearl Jam in the quivering vocal, and a touch of Nick Cave in the darkly morose production. On the more intense and distortion-embracing spectrum, “Black” compels with its angsty, rock-forward delivery. The track enjoyably represents the sense of bleakness that enveloped the world and its participants, including its impact on musicians and songwriting.
“The pandemic shook the world and affected everything that I do, so out of that came most of these tunes,” Lewis explains. “Some of them I had written and hadn’t done anything with until this new idea came. I’ve always wanted to play edgier and darker material yet still having a pop sensibility about the tunes. I found some amazing musicians to play with and now we are ready to bring it.”
“Rips” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of March 2023’ Spotify playlist.