Monday, March 15, 2010

Album Review: "Nightmare" by Building Rome

Release date: 9/15/2009

>> Building Rome is a great alternative rock group from St. Louis, Missouri. Consisting of 4 talented guys, the band has mastered the art of creating beautiful music full of passion and intensity. Their album, "Nightmare", includes tracks with a variety of sounds and attitudes, some being upbeat with a hidden meaning, and others being fairly dark and ominous. The album is made up of 12 songs that tell a story of addiction, hopelessness, self destruction, remorse, acceptance, and so much more.

>>"What Are We Fighting For" is a great opening track. It sets the perfect tone for the record, hinting at a conflict that will get worse, but hopefully be resolved as the album progresses. It's a dark song that helps the listener paint a mental picture of what's to come. "Nightmare", the title track, sounds like the perfect mix of Capital Lights and Alkaline Trio, two great bands with almost opposite sounds. This track is upbeat, but it also has a dark side to it. "Dr. Doctor" is fairly similar, with a hint of Ludo thrown in as well, with regards to both sound and sense of humor. That track is almost guaranteed to get stuck in your head, but it's certainly not something to complain about. "Sink Like An Anchor" is deceptively soothing; with such a sweet melody it's almost surprising when you listen & realize the lyrics talk about revenge and self destruction. This is also the song that inspired the album artwork. "Take Cover (Burn)" starts out with a fairly ominous tone, and keeps the intensity just as strong as it continues. It's everything you could want in a rock song- it has a dark sound that grabs your attention, and passionate lyrics that are pretty easy to relate to. Here's a sample from the last chorus: "Will we ever learn what it takes to burn? Take cover, run as fast as you can, that little girl's got blood on her hands and dreams of fire.... I have no desire, no desire to burn." The next track, "Haunting Me", helps to show the diversity in Building Rome's music. You can hear the emotion put into it like the other songs, but this track has more of an upbeat, pop-punk tone than some of the others. It sounds like a party song with a chorus reminiscent of "Walking Disaster" by Sum-41. "Last Time Again" is smooth, soft, and full of remorse. This song is truly beautiful; a type of ballad with a dark twist. The intro of "Orange Case" reminds me of that of "Just The Girl"by The Click Five, but longer with a faster tempo. It's funny to compare the two songs seeing as how they're fairly opposite aside from that one similarity. It lures you in with the catchy intro, uses the verse to build anticipation, and transitions nicely into the chorus with a smooth, rock tone that does not disappoint. It's a fairly tame song, no dramatic crescendos or unexpected low-points; this song is stronger in its meaning and representation than anything else. "Streetlights" starts out with soft, eerie vocals that just draw you into the hard-rock chorus. The song is almost 3 minutes long, but it seems shorter- the track might start out slowly, but it certainly doesn't drag. This is a track whose tone seemingly corresponds with its meaning, representing someone being overtaken by the negative in their life and, essentially, turning over to the 'dark side.' I love "Tired Of Waking Up", and not just the song, but it's place in the track-listing as well. It's a fairly hopeful song, both with its upbeat sound and message of acceptance. It's about reflecting on , letting go of, and accepting what life has brought, and making an attempt to move on with one's life. "I was so happy by myself, I never needed any help. There were dreams of fun & fame, but now I know life is just a game, and I lost my turn on you... I'm gonna take your pictures down, and kick myself back off the ground, forget your face, and let you go." This is one of my favorite lines in the song. It shows acknowledgment of the past, and motivation towards the future. "Bring Me Home" is a beautifully sad, yet sweet acoustic song. The violins featured on this track only add to the emotion personified by the lyrics, as seen here in the closing line: "Close your eyes & I'll kiss you one last time before I miss you, but this time I'll be okay. Here's goodbye my love, goodnight." This is a song that almost anyone can relate to in some way, it's about letting go- something we have all experienced at one time in our lives. The final track, "If This Is Where It Ends", is only about a minute long and asks one question. "If this is where it ends, where do we begin? Where do I begin?" It's the perfect end for this record- fairly open-ended, and ominous. It hints at the fact that everything repeats itself, and that life is almost cyclical until it ends.

>> Overall, this is an incredible album. Taken simply for the music, each song is different from the last, but their common factor is the emotion that went into writing them. Once you listen to each song and hear the lyrics, get a taste for the meaning, one can truly see how talented the members of Building Rome are.
>I would think myself lucky to see them perform live, if one can feel this much intensity recorded onto a CD, I could only imagine what it would be like in person. Building Rome has some shows coming up in Texas, Missouri, and Illinois. Check their MySpace for dates, and do your best make it out to a show.

>>You can get the record through iTunes, Best Buy,, and CD Baby, or you can download it free from this widget.

>> When I was referring to what the songs meant, or what they were written about- That wasn't just my view on it, it's a fact. I got the information here, when Jon posted a blog 'explaining Nightmare.' Check it out for an even better look into the mind of a talented lyricist, and story-teller.

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