The work of Gothenburg, Sweden-based indie rock noisemakers Rome Is Not a Town is laced with an acerbic rock undercurrent. They craft boisterous bits of wiry rhythms and caustic melodies. Composed of Kajsa Poidnak, Susanna Brandin, Caroline Kabat and Emma Wättring, the band conjures dense indie rock alloys that thud and thrash around in wild, feral movements. It’s a stylized version of sounds we’re familiar with, but the band bends these specific rhythms into singularly original bursts of energy and momentum.
They draw influence from the harsher and most dissonant spectrum of the genre, with bands like Sonic Youth, Swans and My Bloody Valentine acting as musical antecedents. There’s a serrated edge to their songs, as if the band were slicing open raw nerves and peeling back the sinews and muscle to expose the emotional and rhythmic devastation inside.
On their new song, “Careful Like You Cared” (the title track from their forthcoming EP), they engage their listeners on a primal level-it’s the same kind of ferocious rock aptitude that Dinosaur Jr. and Pixies pioneered. Across this track, we watch as a band infuses their music with every last bit of emotion they possess. The guitars ebb and flow before striking out laterally, cutting down anything in their path. It’s noisy but melodic, and there’s a fine line to be walked in these waters. Rome Is Not a Town understands the necessity of underscoring their work with a fierce melodic framework, but they also aren’t afraid to let the hiss and grit of their influences lash out from time to time. It’s unpredictable, captivating and absolutely mandatory listening for cacophonous indie rock fanatics.
Nooga.com recently spoke with the band about their upcoming record. Read their responses below.
Were there any particular records or artists that you listened to during the writing and recording ofyour new EP,“Careful Like You Cared”?
A lot of different artists: The Ghost Ease, DIIV, Fat White Family, The Fall, Viagra Boys, Nots, Thee Oh Sees, Lightfoils.
Did you approach the creation of each track with a specific intent beforehand, or did each song develop naturally in the studio during recording?
We had a clear idea of how we wanted to record the songs, but we rarely finish a song to 100 percent before going into the studio. We like the idea of keeping space to try out things in the studio, try out what feeling we can capture that day.
Despite their weight and density, these songs feel limber and caustic and ready to run at any moment. How did you capture that organic energy and emotion in the studio?
Organic energy! That’s it. We never record our songs layer by layer, like the drums first and then the bass and then guitar No, 1, etc., etc.; it’s always a one take and live all together standing in the same room. It will never be a “perfect” recording; it will always be someone who will miss to switch on a reverb pedal somewhere or miss a hit on the floor tom, but it doesn’t matter. If we get a feeling afterward, then it’s good.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.