I hate heights. I actually despise them (so much so that I don’t trust tall people) and climbing the fire escape stairs all the way up to the studio where I met alternative punk band Jukebox Romeos was a nightmare, but man was it worth it. Meeting that band at the end of such a perilous ascent (too much?) was like falling down a mineshaft only to find myself surrounded by a room paved with gold once I’d hit the bottom; the pain was worth the gain, trust me.
Jukebox Romeos, who recently changed their name back from The Royals after changing it to that from what they are now called (got that?), are comprised of Stuart on Lead vocals/guitar, Joe on backing vocals/bass/harmonica, Dom on lead guitar, and Alex on drums. They are influenced by bands and artists like Bruce Springsteen, The Clash, The Ramones, Gaslight Anthem, and Morrissey. Their songs, musically cheerful but so lyrically depressing they should call their debut album “Music to Drown Yourself to”, are about politics, getting out of Eastbourne, girls, and love. The songs, which deserve to be played loud again and again, are like an easily listened to and digestible punk revival for the 21st century. The music is mature and the lyrics are catchy, so much so that it doesn’t take long for anyone listening to find themselves absent mindedly mouthing along.
I haven’t heard very many songs by Jukebox Romeos, in truth I’ve only heard two more than once, but what I have heard of them is interesting enough to keep me wanting to come back for more. Their song “My Armageddon” is about the constant strain on the heart that is trying to make it in the music industry and how easy it is to just give up on your dreams. Their song “Old Seaside Towns”, which I love with a passion, is about living in Eastbourne when all your friends are leaving the monotony in search of greener pastures like university. It’s about being left behind while desperately wanting to break free. This band write songs that deserve to be played loud, so loud that you can’t even hear the angry shouts of the people whose bus journey your disrupting, let alone care about them.
Jukebox Romeos, like many bands i have met, are taking part in this year’s Battle of The Bands at the upcoming Eastbourne Extreme festival. With the starting date creeping ever closer they can certainly feel pretty secure in their talents after one of the organisers wrote “My money’s on you guys to win this year” on their Facebook wall. Despite that vote of confidence they haven’t played very many gigs as of yet, in fact they’ve only played at Eastbourne’s Bar Blue and Sambar with Spaniels Ears, Skywards, and No state. At the moment the band are choosing recording their EP and working on new material above performing, a sensible decision I think, and if that new material is anything like what they’ve produced so far I’ll be looking forward to seeing them when they do decide to gig again.
To me Jukebox Romeos are the soundtrack to disillusion, the band to listen to when you’re going down in flames, and when your entire life is lit by darkness. Jukebox Romeos are real. They sound damn good, and hopefully, they are here to stay.
Jukebox Romeos can be found on Facebook and on Myspace (http://www.myspace.com/jukeboxromeosuk).
Originally posted on: http://www.bn1magazine.co.uk/music/reviews/259-jukebox-romeos