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Botch - We Are The Romans Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 9
Production 9.25
Creativity 9.5
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Final Verdict: 93%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.9
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 6.8
Production 8.6
Creativity 9.55
Lasting Value 9.1
Reviewer Tilt 8.9
Average: 88%
Inside AP.net

Botch - We Are The Romans

Reviewed by: Tom Good (09/21/07)
BotchWe Are The Romans (Deluxe Edition)
Release Date: September 11th, 2007
Record Label: Hydra Head Records


With all the Botch reissues coming out over the past few months, the one that people have really been looking forward to is finally here. Whereas Unifying Themes Redux and American Nervoso gave us a glimpse of the band at different points in their career, We Are The Romans is Botch in their prime. Needless to say, this reissue package of the classic metallic hardcore masterpiece is a piece of work in itself. Fans of the band won’t be disappointed with the wealth of material packed into this two-disc set. To claim this album is influential to a lot of current trends in hard music is a massive understatement. If you’re into hardcore, I don’t have to tell you who these guys are and who is copping their style because chances are, you already know. If, for some reason you haven’t, then there is no better place or time to start than with the deluxe edition of We Are The Romans.

Originally released in 2000, We Are The Romans turned heads due to the unique sonic layers created by the band, whose members currently make up Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes and Roy. People didn’t know how to react to the new technicality infused into their beloved hardcore genre. It was raw, it was heavy as hell and it was something that many people had never heard before. After 7 years, the album is just as original as it was at the start of the millennium. The first time I heard “C. Thomas Howell As The Soul Man”, I had no idea what the hell had just happened, but damned if I wasn’t blown away. Upon first listen the track makes no sense, but like many Botch songs, a strange thing happens upon repeated listens,; the pieces start to come together with each listen so that every move appears more and more carefully calculated. Brian Cook’s fuzzed out bass growls while Dave Verellen screams meaningful lyrics that are heavy in all senses of the word. Dave Knudson’s completely dissonant chords take on a life of their own, and oddly tapped rhythms emote in a cacophony that can only be described as controlled chaos. His work in Minus The Bear alone paints him as one of the most unique guitarists playing today, but We Are The Romans still ranks among his best work, acting as a lesson in how so much can be done with so little. Metalcore players take note; this is where you have probably taken a lot of your guitar riffs. Tracks like “To Our Friends In The Great White North” and “Saint Matthew Returns To The Womb” display the odd time signatures the band is known for, creating a sound that is “mathy” but still retains a heavy lumbering groove. These tracks are timeless and given recent trends in hardcore music, the album sounds just as fresh today as the day it was released.

So you already have the album, what does the deluxe edition bring to the table that the original didn’t? There is an entire second disc worth of bonus material that is sure to please any collector. The bonus disc is comprised of 11 tracks of unreleased demos and live performances. While the demos give a glimpse into the history of this groundbreaking album, the live material is where it really shines. Hearing Botch play some of these songs live is enough in its own right to put a new spin on the classic. Expanded artwork and packaging doesn’t hurt either. As far as I’m concerned, what you are really getting is one of the best heavy records of all time, so any bonus material is icing on the cake. If you haven’t heard it, go get it. If you have, maybe the remastered audio, packaging and bonus disc may be enough to merit a re-buy. Where many of the bands that claim Botch as an influence may be disposable, We Are The Romans stands the true test of time, ringing in just as poignant as it ever has. After repeated critical listens, I’m left with the conclusion that this release is exactly what is needed right now. Botch is missed and is sorely needed to plug up all the bands that are just imitating what they initiated. Although the band will not be re-forming anytime soon, We Are The Romans acts as a perfect epitaph to a career rife with creativity. Do yourself a favor and listen to remind yourself what a true landmark album sounds like. To quote the accompanying press release; “Why fuck around with pretenders to the throne when you are already in bed with the kings?”.

TracklistingDisc 1
1. To Our Friends In The Great White North
2. Mondrian Was A Liar
3. Transitions From Persona To Object
4. Swimming The Channel vs. Driving The Chunnel
5. C. Thomas Howell As The “Soul Man”
6. Saint Matthew Returns To The Womb
7. Frequency Ass Bandit
8. I Wanna Be A Sex Symbol On My Own Terms
9. Man The Ramparts
10. Thank God For Worker Bees – Remix

Disc 2
1) To Our Friends In The Great White North (demo)
2) I Wanna Be A Sex Symbol On My Own Terms (demo)
3) Transitions From Persona To Object (demo)
4) Mondrian Was A Liar (demo)
5) Saint Matthew Returns To The Womb (demo)
6) C. Thomas Howell As The “Soul Man” (demo)
7) Man The Ramparts (demo)
8) Saint Matthew Returns To The Womb (live)
9) Vietmam (live)
10) Transitions From Persona To Object (live)
11) Hutton’s Great Heat Engine (live)
Listen to BotchMyspace | Purevolume | Hydra Head Records Site
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 46.
11:12 AM on 09/21/07
#2
0101
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not a big botch fan, but after reading this i really want to go and buy this.
11:13 AM on 09/21/07
#3
CrenshawPunch
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Gosh this cd sucks.
11:13 AM on 09/21/07
#4
Tom Good
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not a big botch fan, but after reading this i really want to go and buy this.
Thanks Cohutta!:-D
11:14 AM on 09/21/07
#5
Tom Good
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hahaha, I love that it's your avatar. I lol'd a bit.
11:18 AM on 09/21/07
#6
0101
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Sleaze :)
01:05 PM on 09/21/07
#7
fightfightfight
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Transitions From Persona to Object may be my favorite heavy song ever. The intro is just BROOOOTAL
01:07 PM on 09/21/07
#8
Blake Solomon
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more like Tom Great!
01:20 PM on 09/21/07
#9
newfoundmichael
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hahaha, I love that it's your avatar. I lol'd a bit.


What What?
01:34 PM on 09/21/07
Tom Good
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He said "Gosh this cd sucks" but his avatar is the album cover.

<3
01:39 PM on 09/21/07
PigDestroyer
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great album. tom, im glad you reviewed these botch rereleases. these albums need to be heard. though i think it is worth mentioned the live dvd/cd that was put out a little while back. as you say "the live material is where it really shines" and this is a great way to see just how incredible they were. i, along with most, was never lucky enough to see them live but the dvd is the next best thing
01:44 PM on 09/21/07
Tom Good
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great album. tom, im glad you reviewed these botch rereleases. these albums need to be heard. though i think it is worth mentioned the live dvd/cd that was put out a little while back. as you say "the live material is where it really shines" and this is a great way to see just how incredible they were. i, along with most, was never lucky enough to see them live but the dvd is the next best thing
I actually agree. I never got a chance to review the DVD, but I really loved it. I watched it a few times and the live show is nuts. One of the best parts of that DVD is the commentary where they openly call out the bands that are copping their style. haha, at one point they go "Is this Norma Jean?" hahaha
02:21 PM on 09/21/07
newfoundmichael
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He said "Gosh this cd sucks" but his avatar is the album cover.

<3



Hah, never mind. I was actually making a reference to your avatar.
02:56 PM on 09/21/07
Tom Good
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Hah, never mind. I was actually making a reference to your avatar.
haha OH I'm an idiot, sorry man.
03:29 PM on 09/21/07
Trepidation
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great review, I love this band and now I'm definitely aching to go and pick this release up =]
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