Haven't we heard more than enough dusky, moody post-punk? Even efforts to make the sound more relevant by updating it with electronic refinements have ultimately turned out to be bland and embarrassingly derivative. The members of Kansas City's Roman Numerals have done their utmost to subvert this hackneyed trend by writing songs that nod to their influences without being cast as pale shadows of far superior material. Using vocals and dynamics that recall early Psychedelic Furs, these guys have managed to write dark, danceable music that won't make you wince, and like the much-missed Radio Berlin, they tastefully bring together urgent, impressionistic guitar work with heavy synths and bass lines ably supported by an archly insistent backbeat. Without question, the experimental, ambitious pop purveyed by Roman Numerals easily eclipses the feigned artistic darkness of its less-inventive peers.
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