Ruben Romano Premieres “Not Any More”; The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile Out Aug. 9

Posted in audiObelisk on June 13th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

ruben romano twenty graves per mile

Ruben Romano will release The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile (review here) — which, rest assured, actually exists despite all the imagination — through Desert Records on Aug. 9. It is the first solo outing for Romano, also known for fronting The Freeks on vocals and guitar and whose pedigree includes having drummed in the initial incarnations of both Fu Manchu and Nebula, and might at first seem like a striking stylistic turn as Romano taps into Western atmospheres and ramble, wagons loaded and headed out Californey way across 10 homecooked tracks of unfolding landscapes.

Romano tells the story of the record himself below, and I don’t want to keep you from that, but as you dig into the premiere of “Not Any More” below — and the album was self-released in February, so it was out there, though it’s been taken down from Bandcamp now; I have no idea about Spotify and the rest, it could be streaming all over the place and honestly, if it is, fine — don’t go into it thinking “rock record,” because that’s not what’s happening here. Nuanced percussion around subdued acoustic guitar arrangements, some slide here and there; the priority isn’t necessarily all-volume-all-the-time, and it wouldn’t really work as a ‘soundtrack,’ imaginary or otherwise, if it were. You can hear the casual roots in the strum of “Controversy Follows” or “Chuck Wagon Sorrow,” but the songs are fleshed out well in terms of arrangement, and though it’s positioned as instrumental, you’ll hear some watery whispers in amid the Morricone stretches and snippets of country-tinged meander, given just an edge of weirdo-psych through effects and an exploratory sense in the making as much as the material.

That is, The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile — you might be forgiven for just calling it Twenty Graves Per Mile — is Romano‘s first public foray into the style, and comes through as somewhat experimental as a result, but there’s nothing tentative about it as the rhythm of “The Trail is Long” evokes the hooves walking that same trail or the penultimate “Jump Off Town (From Everywhere)” hints at an almost post-rock float brought to the proceedings that, if there’s a next time, might be something to listen for in terms of the project’s development. I won’t speculate on that, but one way or the other, Romano‘s dive is headfirst throughout what’s still only a 27-minute LP, utterly manageable even for the most modern of attention spans and at no risk of overstaying its welcome.

You’ll find “Not Any More” on the player below, followed by some background on putting it all together from Romano himself, the preorder link, and so on.

Please enjoy:

Ruben Romano on Twenty Graves Per Mile:

I actually never set out to do this project, by that I mean, it was not preconceived, not yet anyway. What happened first was that I came to realize that I had acquired enough musical gear to satisfy all points needed to complete an ensemble. The urge is great, I know, but why did I need to buy another guitar or amplifier when I have several of every variety already. So I switched my collecting tendencies towards recording gear. I’m a…“Let’s see what happens..” kind of person.

I enjoy sitting on my porch with an acoustic guitar, noodling, jumping from this major chord to that minor chord, adding a 7th and a 9th, or maybe sus it. I have always enjoyed playing with sounds, if something makes a sound I’m in, I’ll tinker until I figure something out. This leaves me wide open to whatever. I may be lumped into a certain genre that creates expectations but I can’t really be so loyal to just one type of music when it’s just too vast to not enjoy everything that’s out there. So, it’s to figure out some sounds, put some chords together and let’s see what happens…. I love doing things like this and it’s the same approach I used for “Twenty Graves Per Mile” as I do for my main rock band The Freeks. All of this leads me to enjoy late nights in the garage, now with the ability to record the idea, and further expand it. I sacrifice sleep as I can’t really stop once I get started, and I’m ok with that. A lot, if not all, of these songs were constructed this way but really it’s thanks to Les Paul for inventing multitrack recording.

I live in a Condominium with my wife and daughter and also two cats. I’m smack dab in the middle of the building with neighbors on both sides and also above, so volume is an issue. Acoustic guitar and a really sensitive condenser mic are my main tools. I also did a lot of direct line-in recording when it came to adding electric instruments here at my home. I’m ok with this because at the same time I’m still learning my recording process, instrument modeling is a part of that. When I have something going and it’s ready for even more, I also have a full mobile recording unit that The Freeks use at our rehearsal room. So I am able to record acoustic drums as well as loud guitar amplifiers, my latest gem is a new Fender Vibro Champ Reverb amp.

Reverb and Vibrato have always been my favorite tones, Chorus is my least favorite. So I bounce from one studio to the other, transferring and importing tracks as I go along. I have already been tracking these songs with no intentions for them, just doing what I like to do, it’s a hobby. So when Covid hit me, an opportunity kind of fell into place. As I quarantined at home, I fell into a TV binge, watching different series about our Great Frontiers Men, Westward Expansion and The Oregon Trail. It all just blended in my head. They expanded west, I expanded my ideas and I got reverb to prove it. I just kept recording little tunes more and more, and my computer filled up very quickly. I began transferring them to external drives to create space for even more to come.

So I started to sift through them and I started finding songs that I totally forgot about. Late nights in that garage produced some fun and even silly things as well as some rather deep things. For example, the song “The Trail Is Long ” must have happened really late with a fine smoke, some good bourbon and a sad memory. I totally forgot about it and now it’s probably my favorite song on the record. However, all the songs have a place in my heart, of course, there is a joy in taking a little acoustic guitar lick conceived on the porch that eventually becomes a completed song like “Sweet Dreams Cowboy”. There is a great sense of pride in that.

The Imaginary Soundtrack To The Imaginary Western “Twenty Graves Per Mile”
Releases on August 9th, 2024
Desert Records
CD, Cassette Tape, Digital Download


1. Load the Wagon
2. About to Bloom
3. Sweet Dreams Cowboy
4. Chuck Wagon Sorrow
5. Not Any More
6. Ode to Fallen Oxen
7. The Trail is Long
8. Controversy Follows
9. Jump Off Town (from everywhere)
10. Load the Wagon (reprise)

Ruben Romano on Instagram

Ruben Romano on Facebook

Ruben Romano on Bandcamp

Desert Records on Facebook

Desert Records on Bandcamp

Desert Records store

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Ruben Romano to Release …Twenty Graves Per Mile on Desert Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 12th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

That was quick. Ruben Romano — he of The Freeks who did stoner rock the first time around drumming for the earliest incarnations of Fu Manchu and Nebula — released his Western-themed instrumental solo album, The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile (review here), digitally just last month, and in addition to the limited tape that Northern Haze was putting out (I think that’s still happening?), Desert Records has picked up Romano for what one assumes will be the CD and LP editions.

No word on a release date, as the announcement below is pretty preliminary, but there’s no reason to think such a thing couldn’t manifest by the Fall, schedules permitting. Either way, …Twenty Graves Per Mile is streaming now should you like to embark on its cross-prairie course, classic in its Americana sprawl and sun-baked psychedelic reach. It streams at the bottom of this post. I know you know this. I don’t know why I feel compelled to say it all the time. Gonna go punch myself or whatever.

The following comes from Desert Records‘ and Romano‘s social media:

ruben romano desert records signing

The DR roster is growing…


Ruben Romano is southern Cali desert rock royalty. Current drummer/guitarist of The Freeks and former founder/drummer of Fu Manchu and Nebula!!!

We are stoked and honored to have Ruben on board to help him release his solo album – The imaginary soundtrack to the imaginary western ‘Twenty Graves Per Mile.’ Cinematic spaghetti western/desert rock at its finest.

Says Romano: ‘A Super Huge “THANKS” to @desertrecords for having some faith in my musical efforts and letting me join their family! They will soon be releasing; “The imaginary soundtrack to the imaginary western,’ Twenty Graves Per Mile” my little audio homage to Great Frontiersmen, Westward Expansion and an Ode to Oxen. Please Check them out, their catalog is so diverse, as wide as the Great Plains and deep as all the deserts combined, ranging from the darkest of doom to the vast echoes of reverb. I am beyond elated!’

More news coming soon…

Ruben Romano, The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile (2024)

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Quarterly Review: Deadpeach, SÂVER, Ruben Romano, Kosmodrom, The Endless, Our Maddest Edges, Saint Omen, Samsara Joyride, That Ship Has Sailed, Spiral Guru

Posted in Reviews on February 28th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


Welcome to Wednesday of the Quarterly Review. If you’ve been here before — and I do this at least four times a year, so maybe you have and maybe you haven’t — I’m glad you’re back, and if not, I’m glad you’re here at all. These things are always an undertaking, and in a vacuum, I’m pretty sure busting out 10 shorter reviews per day would be a reasonably efficient process. I don’t live in a vacuum. I live vacuuming.

Metaphorically, at least. Looking around the room, it’s pretty obvious ‘vacuum life’ is intermittent.

Today we hit the halfway mark of this standard-operating-procedure QR, and we’ll get to 30 of the 50 releases to be covered by the time Friday is done or die trying, as that’s also the general policy. As always, I hope you find something in this batch of 10 that you dig. Doesn’t have to be any more of a thing than that. Doesn’t need to change your life, just maybe take the moment you’re in and make it a little better.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Deadpeach, The Cosmic Haze and the Human Race

Deadpeach The Cosmic Haze and the Human Race

A new full-length from Italian cosmic fuzz rockers Deadpeach doesn’t come along every day. Though the four-piece here comprised of guitarist/vocalist Giovanni Giovannini, guitarist Daniele Bartoli, bassist Mrsteveman and drummer Federico Tebaldi trace their beginnings back to 1993, the seven-song/37-minute exploration The Cosmic Haze and the Human Race is just their fourth full-length in that span of 31 years, following behind 2013’s Aurum (review here), though they haven’t been completely absent in that time, with the 2019 unplugged offering Waiting for Federico session (review here), 2022’s Live at Sidro Club, etc. But whether it’s the howling-into-the-void guitar over the methodical toms in the experimental-vibing closer “Loop (Set the Control to Mother Earth),” the mellower intro of “Madras” that leads both to chunky-style chug and the parade of classic-heavy buzz that is “Motor Peach,” what most comes through is the freedom of the band to do what they want in the psychedelic sphere. “Man on the Hill (The Fisherman and the Farmer)” tells its tale with blues rock swing while the subsequent “Cerchio” resolves Beatlesian with bouncy string and horn sounds and is its own realization at the center of the procession before the languid roll of “Monday” (so it goes) picks up its tempo later on. A mostly lo-fi recording still creates an atmosphere, and Deadpeach represent who they are in the weirdo space grunge of “Rust,” toying with influences from a desert that’s surely somewhere on another planet before “Loop (Set the Controls for Mother Earth)” turns repetition into mantra. They might be underrated forever, but Deadpeach only phase into our dimension intermittently and it’s worth appreciating them while they’re here.

Deadpeach on Facebook

Deadpeach website

SÂVER, From Ember and Rust

SAVER From Ember and Rust

In or out of post-metal and the aggressive end of atmospheric sludge, there are few bands currently active who deliver with the visceral force of Oslo’s SÂVER. From Ember and Rust is the second LP from the three-piece of Ole Ulvik Rokseth (guitar), Markus Støle (drums) and Ole Christian Helstad (bass/vocals), and while it signals growth in the synthy meditation worked into “I, Evaporate” after the lead-with-nod opener “Formless,” and the intentionally overwhelming djent chug that pays off the penultimate “The Object,” it is the consuming nature of the 43-minute entirety that is most striking, dynamic in its sprawl and thoughtful in arrangement both within and between its songs — the way the drone starts “Eliminate Distance” and returns to lull the listener momentarily out of consciousness before the bassy start of centerpiece “Ember and Rust” prompts a return ahead of its daring and successful clean vocal foray. That’s a departure, contextually speaking, but noteworthy even as “Primal One” lumbersmashes anything resembling hope to teeny tiny bits, leaving room in its seven minutes to catchy its breath amid grooving proggy chug and bringing back the melodic singing. As much as they revel in the caustic, there’s serenity in the catharsis of “All in Disarray” at the album’s conclusion, and as much as SÂVER are destructive, they’re cognizant of the world they’re building as part of that.

SÂVER on Facebook

Pelagic Records website

Ruben Romano, The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile

Ruben Romano The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile

Departing from the heavy psychedelic blues rock proffered by his main outfit The Freeks, multi-instrumentalist and elsewhere-vocalist Ruben Romano — who also drummed for Fu Manchu and Nebula in their initial incarnations — digs into Western aural themes on his cumbersomely-titled solo debut, The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile. To be clear, there is no movie called Twenty Graves Per Mile (yet), and the twice-over-imaginary nature of the concept lets Romano meander a bit in pieces like “Sweet Dream Cowboy” and “Ode to Fallen Oxen,” the latter of which tops its rambling groove with a line of delay twang, while “Chuck Wagon Sorrow” shimmers with outward simplicity with a sneaky depth to its mix (to wit, the space in “Not Any More”). At 10 songs and 27 minutes, the collection isn’t exactly what you’d call ‘feature length,’ but as it hearkens back to the outset with “Load the Wagon (Reprise)” bookending the opener, it is likewise cohesive in style and creative in arrangement, with Romano bringing in various shakers, mouth harp, effects and so on to create his ‘soundtrack’ with a classic Western feel and the inevitable lysergic current. Not as indie or desert chic as Spindrift, who work from a similar idea, but organic and just-came-in-covered-with-dust folkish just the same. If the movie existed, I’d be interested to know which of these tracks would play in the saloon.

Ruben Romano on Facebook

Ruben Romano on Bandcamp

Kosmodrom, Welcome to Reality

Kosmodrom Welcome to Reality

With the seven-minute “Earth Blues” left off the vinyl for want of room, German heavy psychedelic instrumentalists Kosmodrom put a color filter on existence with Welcome to Reality as much as on the cover, shimmering in “Dazed in Space” with a King Buffalo‘ed resonance such that the later, crunchier fuzz roll of “Evil Knievel” feels like a departure. While the three-piece are no doubt rooted in jams, Welcome to Reality presents finished works, following a clear plot in the 10-minute “Quintfrequenz” and the gradual build across the first couple minutes of “Landstreicher” — an intent that comes more into focus a short while later on “Novembersong” — before “Earth Blues” brings a big, pointed slowdown. They cap with “OM,” which probably isn’t named after the band but can be said to give hints in their direction if you want to count its use of ride cymbal at the core of its own build, and which in its last 40 seconds still manages to find another level of heft apparently kept in reserve all along. Well played. As their first LP since 2018, Welcome to Reality feels a bit like it’s reintroducing the band, and in listening, seems most of all to encourage the listener to look at the world around them in a different, maybe more hopeful way.

Kosmodrom on Facebook

Kosmodrom on Bandcamp

The Endless, The Endless

the endless the endless

Heads experienced in post-metal will be able to pick out elements like the Russian Circles gallop in The Endless‘ “Riven” or the Isis-style break the Edmonton-based instrumental unit veers into on “Shadows/Wolves” at the center of their self-titled debut, but as “The Hadeon Eon” — the title of which references the planet’s earliest and most volatile geological era — subtly invites the listener to consider, this is the band’s first recorded output. Formed in 2019, derailed and reconstructed post-pandemic, the four-piece of guitarists Teddy Palmer and Eddy Keyes, bassist James Palmer and drummer Jarred Muir are coherent in their stylistic intent, but not so committed to genre tenets as to forego the sweeter pleasure of the standalone guitar at the start of the nine-minute “Reflection,” soon enough subsumed though it is by the spacious lurch that follows. There and throughout, the band follow a course somewhere between post-metal and atmospheric sludge, and the punch of low end in “Future Archives,” the volume trades between loud and quiet stretches bring a sense of the ephemeral as well as the ethereal, adding character without sacrificing impact in the contrast. Their lack of pretense will be an asset as they continue to develop.

The Endless on Facebook

The Endless on Bandcamp

Our Maddest Edges, Peculiar Spells

Our Maddest Edges Peculiar Spells

Kudos if you can keep up with the shifts wrought from track to track on Our Maddest Edges‘ apparent first long-player, Peculiar Spells, as the Baltimorean solo-project spearheaded by Jeff Conner sets out on a journey of genuine eclecticism, bringing The Beatles and Queens of the Stone Age stylistically together and also featuring one of the several included duets on “Swirl Cone,” some grunge strum in “Hella Fucky” after the remake-your-life spoken/ambient intro “Thoughts Can Change,” a choral burst at the beginning of the spoken-word-over-jazz “Slugs,” which of course seems to be about screwing, as well as the string-laced acoustic-led sentimentality on “Red Giant,” the Casio beat behind the bright guitar plucks of “Frozen Season,” the full-tone riffs around which “I Ain’t Done” and “St. Lascivious” are built, and the sax included with the boogie of “The Totalitarian Tiptoe,” just for a few examples of the places its 12 component tracks go in their readily-consumable 37-minute runtime. Along with Conner are a reported 17 guests appearing throughout, among them Stefanie Zaenker (ex-Caustic Casanova). Info is sparse on the band and Conner‘s work more broadly, but his history in the punkish Eat Your Neighbors accounts for some of the post-hardcore at root here, and his own vocals (as opposed to those of the seven other singers appearing) seem to come from somewhere similar. Relatively quick listen, but not a minor undertaking.

Jeff Conner on Bandcamp

Saint Omen, Death Unto My Enemy

saint omen death unto my enemy

Rolling out with the ambient intro before beginning its semi-Electric Wizardly slog in “Taken by the Black,” Death Unto My Enemy is the 2023 debut from New York City’s Saint Omen. Issued by Forbidden Place Records, its gritty nod holds together even as “Evolution of the Demon” threatens to fall apart, samples filling out the spaces not occupied by vocals, communicating themes dark, violent, and occult in pieces like the catchy-despite-its-harsher-vocal “Destroyer” or the dark swirl of “Sinners Crawl.” Feeling darker as it moves through its 10 songs, it saves a particular grim experimentalism for closer “Descent,” but by the time Death Unto My Enemy gets there, surely your mind and soul have already been poisoned and reaped, respectively, by “The Seventh Gate,” “The Black Mass” and the penultimate title-track, that deeper down is the only place left to go. So that’s where you go; a humming abyss of anti-noise. Manhattan has never been a epicenter of cultish doom, but Saint Omen‘s abiding death worship and bleakness — looking at you, “Sleepness” — shift between dramaturge and dug-in lumber, and the balance is only intriguing for the rawness with which it is delivered, harsher in its purpose than sound, but still plenty harsh in sound.

Saint Omen on Facebook

Forbidden Place Records store

Samsara Joyride, The Subtle and the Dense

samsara joyride the subtle and the dense

The psychedelic aspects of Samsara Joyride‘s The Subtle and the Dense feel somewhat compartmentalized, but that’s not necessarily a detriment to the songs, as the solo that tops the drearily moderated tempo of “Too Many Preachers” or the pastoral tones that accompany the bluesier spirit of “Who Tells the Story” emphasize. The Austrian outfit’s second full-length, The Subtle and the Dense seems aware of its varied persona, but whether it’s the swaggering stops of “No One is Free” calling to mind Child or the sax and guest vocals that mark such a turn with “Safe and Sound” at the end, Samsara Joyride are firm in their belief that because something is bluesy or classic doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be simple. From the layer of acoustic guitar worked into opener “I Won’t Sign Pt. 1” — their first album also had a two-parter, the second one follows directly here as track two — to the gang chorus worked in amid the atmospheric reach of “Sliver,” Samsara Joyride communicate a progressive take on traditionalist aesthetics, managing as few in this end of the heavy music realm ever do to avoid burly masculine caricature in the process. For that alone, easily worth the time to listen.

Samsara Joyride on Facebook

Samsara Joyride on Bandcamp

That Ship Has Sailed, Kingdom of Nothing

that ship has sailed kingdom of nothing

Like a check-in from some alternate-universe version of Fu Manchu who stuck closer to their beginnings in punk and hardcore, Californian heavy noise rockers That Ship Has Sailed tap volatility and riffy groove alike through the five songs of their Kingdom of Nothing EP, with an admirable lack of bullshit included within that net-zero assessment amid the physical push of riffs like “One-Legged Dog” or “Iron Eagle II” when the drums go to half-time behind the guitar and bass. It’s not all turn-of-the-century disaffection and ‘members of’ taglines though as “Iron Eagle II” sludges through its finish and “I Am, Yeah” becomes an inadvertent anthem for those who’ve never quite been able to keep their shit together, “Sweet Journey” becomes a melodic highlight while fostering the heaviest crash, and “Ready to Go” hits like a prequel to Nebula‘s trip down the stoner rock highway. Catchy in spite of its outward fuckall (or at least fuckmost), Kingdom of Nothing is more relatable than friendly or accessible, which feels about right. It’s cool guys. I never got my shit together either.

That Ship Has Sailed on Instagram

That Ship Has Sailed on Bandcamp

Spiral Guru, Silenced Voices

Spiral Guru Silenced Voices

The fourth EP in the 10-year history of Brazi’s Spiral Guru, who also released their Void long-player in 2019 and the “The Fantastic Hollow Man” single in 2021, Silenced Voices is distinguished immediately by the vocal command and range of Andrea Ruocco, and I’d suspect that if you’re already familiar with the band, you probably know that. Ruocco‘s voice, in its almost operatic use of breath to reach higher notes, carries some element of melodic metal’s grandeur, but Samuel Pedrosa‘s fuzz riffing and the fluid roll of bassist José Ribeiro and drummer Alexandre H.G. Garcia on the title-track avoid that trap readily, ending up somewhere between blues, psych, and ’70s swing on “Caves and Graves” but kept modern in the atmosphere fostered by Pedrosa‘s lead guitar. Another high-quality South American band ignored by the gringo-dude-dominant underground of Europe and the US? Probably, but I’m guilty too a decade after Spiral Guru‘s start, so all I can say is I’m doing my best out here. This band should probably be on Nuclear Blast by now. Stick around for “The Cabin Man” and you’d best be ready to dance.

Spiral Guru on Facebook

Spiral Guru on Bandcamp

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Ruben Romano Releases Solo Album Twenty Graves Per Mile; Tapes Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

I guess probably if you’re Ruben Romano, and you’ve done the thing since the thing started doing in bands like Fu ManchuNebula and The Freeks, the thought that you might make a record, send it out to a bunch of people as a gift, and have someone send back a proper mastered version might seem normal. I’m going to speculate that upwards of 99 percent of the current earth population would never experience that kind of thing — someone just being like, “oh hey, thanks for album; I finished it for you” — but maybe you and I should go make friends with Sacha Goepel, who regifted the mastered version of Romano‘s first solo LP, The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile, which ended up being released this past Friday.

Would the release have happened if not for Goepel‘s fortuitous efforts? Maybe, but probably not right now. Those familiar with The Freeks‘ psych-prone take on heavy blues will find Romano‘s own work prone to some similar meandering, but he’s not kidding with the whole ‘imaginary soundtrack’ thing here, as at least some of the instrumentalism provided — and I heard the record for the first time this morning, so bear with the accordingly superficial impression — has a score-ish feel, but Romano doesn’t quite fully take himself away from verse/chorus structures either. I’m doing a Quarterly Review at the end of the month — BECAUSE DAMN YOU I WILL OBLITERATE MY CONSCIOUSNESS UPON THIS HEAVY ROCK AND ROLL — and it’ll be in there. Might call it …Twenty Graves Per Mile though. Only so many words to fit in a review.

Here’s the story from Romano himself via the PR wire. You know that’s just my email, right? Right?

Okay. Good:

Ruben Romano The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile

Ruben A Romano – ‘The Imaginary Soundtrack To The Imaginary Western’ Twenty Graves Per Mile’ OUT NOW on Freek Flag Records

Freek Flag Records and “Mastering Engineer” Sascha Goepel have paired up to assimilate a major Apollo 11 mission with the launching of this rocket-size full-length. Prior to its humble public release on the first Bandcamp Friday of 2024, Ruben opted for a discreet unmastered prescreening to a select few as a “Holiday Greeting Gift” and it was Sascha Goepel who returned the gift fully mastered, bringing to light the clarity of Romano’s greatest escape from LA yet. While tumbleweed stirred, Twenty Graves Per Mile crept off into wild abandonment, stretching past the first song, “Load The Wagon” and on into its reprise. Stonerocks’ magic drummer blazed his own trails through canyon country on this round coming off as a sundering soundtrack that’s been soundproofed and thoroughly examined before released to the masses on midnight.

Ruben recorded the imaginary “film score” , in and out of his home studio as well as rehearsal room in between practices with The Freeks; another band of Ruben’s who are a blast from the outer space rock past. Much of the inspiration behind Ruben’s conquest is to mesh imagery with harmony. ‘The Imaginary Soundtrack To The Imaginary Western’ is an authentic, balanced composition hinting towards Ruben’s Latin lineage and somewhere along the lines of entrancing love songs about the pioneering westward expansion, more so than a spaghetti western that critics are calling it. It is structured around the envision of a memoir set to cinematic splendor.

Freek Flag Records, which is the headquarters to Ruben Romano’s heart, has released all the “The Freeks” full-length albums digitally as well as hard copy versions of some within its house. The label is flying its freek colors once again and coming out of the closet in order to digitally release this record. Ruben Romano (who has more than completed his rock’n’rock homework) has ten solid tracks delegated for the release. Cassettes are expected to surface later through Northern Haze, while Ruben’s other side hobbies demonstrate his super-sonic-to-the-max video art directing.

This record will go down as another album notch under Ruben’s belt and discographic career. All homophonic compositions were written, recorded, and produced by the drummer turned composer. Instruments used in the recording range from guitar to synth, harmonica to drum tracks, as well as murchunga jaw harp together with minimal chorus lines, all created by a master who needs no master class let alone in any furthermore introduction.

Ruben Romano, The Imaginary Soundtrack to the Imaginary Western Twenty Graves Per Mile (2024)

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