The Roman Line CD Release @ Rancho Relaxo... and more!

I am just basking in all the brownie points lately, arriving at the Roman Line CD Release show on Sunday (at Rancho Relaxo) with at least half an hour spare before the first band and only buying one solitary beer all night..
Who is this girl showing up at shows early, not drinking herself (quite) into oblivion, actually remembering the entire span of each set???
It’s the sick version of me.
After spending an entire Sunday in my pj’s, hopped up on cold medication I delusionally fell out of bed and into half a bottle of wine and a shirt or two way too early for loss of anything better to do. The rational thing to do when you get there so early is drink… However the $4.35 in my pocket only allotted me only one domestic. Ouch.
FYI: Apparently ½ bottle of wine + “herbs” + Tylenol cold + a beer = sober.
Feeling kind of grouchy I was half hoping the first two bands, who I’ve never heard of before now, would turn out to be shitty so I could have some bitter fun ripping them a new A-hole.
Not a fucking chance.
I’m not sure how much my healthy bundle of pre-show medications had affected my reality but within the first song of the first band I stopped caring about how shitty I felt and found myself a couple new favourite bands.
The first was The Shared Arms from Windsor with hook filled punk that still managed to be fast paced and not at all wussy and with dual vocalists that totally watered my half-chub seed. I don’t think I blinked their entire performance in fear of missing something, not able to figure out which member was most deserving of my undying attention. The drummer, the singer, and the bassist each battled it out viciously until finally the bassist won overall with his constant energy moving to the beat of each drum and facial expressions. Facial expressions are key. Mere seconds after I settled my gaze the singer/guitarist announced that the bassist was actually not a bassist, but their guitarist, but they were a member short. Umm… fuck me now. I barely noticed there was only one guitarist, let alone not the usual bass player. They sounded amazing, reminding me of a band I’ve been obsessed with for about a year now called With The Punches, but less pompous, and totally like older Less Than Jake sans horns. Even the singer/guitarist’s voice screamed LTJ. No wonder I loved them.
The second band, Junior Battles, took me approximately half a song longer to fall in love with. By their second song I was enamored with their elementary hooks over heavy undertones and hyperactive drums. Again with dual singers, this time a much more obvious difference in the vocals that worked really well to make them sound ten times poppier than their music really was, which kept me on my toes for the first half of their set not knowing where this band came from. Once it settled in there was no looking back, they nuzzled their puppy dog way into my heart. Half chub has now sprouted into a full grown boner. And it’s only band 2/4. Their inspired sing-a-longs did nothing to help my situation; it’s almost hard to put down on paper how impressed I was at such an early point in the night. I felt far from sick. Their timing was perfect, everybody was getting involved in the music, and the vocals continued to remind me of so many of my favourite bands. As if I wasn’t horny enough by this point they ended their set with the best Christmas song I’ve ever heard. And mentioned a dollar of each beer went to charity. I find Christmas and charity incredibly hot so yet again I was in bliss.
Next O Pioneers!!! hit the stage, and normally I would have been very nervous for the next band after these first two performances, but I luckily had started listening to these guys a few weeks before the show and they light a fire in me in places I didn’t know that even music could reach. Their off-timing, aggressive folk-like vocals force every word into my head and the steady punk roots music has a lot more to it than the simplicity on the surface, and live they are louder and faster and just one of those bands that are meant to be seen. Packed on the stage with elbows against each wall and each other they reminded me at times of the Refused (have I been making this comparison a lot.. maybe I just miss them) in some of their faster songs, and I could imagine myself in a dirty dive venue with shirtless sweaty Refused fans rocking out to these guys. I basically grew another metaphorical penis in their presence. If any girl had wanted both holes filled I would have been her guy. And still the band of the night had yet to play.
When that wet dream ended another started as The Roman Line took their places on stage for the release of Morning Portraits. I’m going to have to warn you that a third hard on is already in the forecast. Right now my ass is badly bruised - wait, hold your judgment - because I kicked it so hard for having missed this band not once, but TWICE, in Toronto recently. They are really, really good. As I write that I am listening to the album, and the lyrics “and before you get older I hope that you know that you’re only as good, as good as your last song” come on and make me think of how fitting that is, and according to that theory they are pretty fucking good right now. There’s something about the upbeat punk rock that makes me think back to the now deceased Hostage Life, and realize that when one door closes, another opens, and if anybody is in need of a band worthy of their attention recently this is it. O Pioneers!!! called it when they announced The Roman Line next, saying they would melt our faces off. Consider my face melted, along with my legs and my shoulders and of course my boobs and vag (and 3 peens… vageens?) Raw emotion emits from the singers' rough voice and the background gang vocals just do wonders to stroke my hardon(s). All hands were moving faster than I could watch and everything sounded so pristine live, leading me into the state of Serenity Now that I bet Frank Costanza was looking for. At times reminding me a hole lot of Teenage Bottlerocket as well as HL, especially the drums, I heard yet a thousand more reasons to love this band than I had previously absorbed from their myspace, and since the show the album has not left my player. Throwing in serious country-like guitar solo’s throughout their album, they had me dancing in my sickly state and feeling more than 100%, which doubled when “Worst Case Ontario” came on and my feet refused to cease. This band is able to tweak many more emotions in me than have been accessible by most bands lately, aside from the previously mentioned O Pioneers!!!. Their album is equivalent to the most exciting roller coaster that gets your heart pounding and you thankful to be alive by the end. With a new appreciation for life I stuck around after they finished for their encores, a gorgeous cover of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” which suited them perfectly and one of my favourite tracks off their album “With Friends Like You Who Needs Firewood?”.
I may not have been in the best spirits when I half-consciously left my house Sunday evening but by the end of it I would never have even considered staying home to be a better alternative, sick or not sick. I feel repetitive saying this was one of the best shows I’ve been to lately, because let’s face it in the heat of the moment or the booze they all are, so I will say that I am one of the 30-50 luckiest people in Toronto that night who got to see this show happen.

I’m Sarah. I do what I want.

*pictures coming soon*