In 2005 San Francisco's Roma 79 quietly released a very underrated album called Gold. Recorded by Carl Amburn (Traindodge, Riddle of Steel) and released by St. Louis' Ascetic Records, Gold relied on many hallmarks of Midwest post-rock — i.e. gritty, dissonant guitars, growling bass lines and huge drums. But Roma 79 sets itself apart with catchy and melodic vocals, shoegaze-inspired atmospheres and (gasp) harmony. With a new full-length on the way, the band appears to be retaining the same vocal approach, but pointing its music in a more prog-oriented direction. The new "Shapes They Had to Build" relies heavily on vintage-sounding synthesizers in the vein of Genesis — and slowly builds to a dreamy chorus, bringing to mind the highly involved arrangements of Tears for Fears.
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