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Rolin Humes ~ A Talented Band Nearly Impossible to Categorize

Croatia

By SethM

Rolin Humes. Who?  Should I know that name?  That’s what ran through my mind when this artist’s name came across my desk (See, I’m not all about big name rock stars and private concerts…new talent gets me going as well.)

Croatia logoWell, being open to giving anything a listen, at least once, I went ahead and got myself some Rolin Humes; l actually went to the links provided in his very polite request for a bit of press and started checking out the 7 songs.

On first listen, I wasn’t sure about Humes…and truth be told, I’m still not ~ but I don’t mean that in a negative way. The first song, “What’s Your Big Secret,” made me feel as if I were at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. If you haven’t seen TSO then you probably won’t get that comparison ~ but if you have been, you know how they kind of tell a story intermittently over music playing in the background. That quick description doesn’t really sum up their entire way of presenting music, but it’s exactly the style of “Secret.”

Interestingly enough, when you listen to the full complement of 7 tracks, you’ll definitely get a Billy Joel feel ~ and maybe it’s that same prevalent piano filling out the songs, but you’ll also hear some old Styx in the songs “Hero” or “In Flame.”  A couple of times I could have sworn Dennis DeYoung was coming through my headphones.

Needless to say, I was intrigued (and if a band can pique your interest, even before you make a firm decision about whether they’ll make it onto your playlist, I consider that a good sign) by the hard-to-define Rolin Humes and wanted to know more; turns out, the band is from Croatia ~ and most of the information about them is not in English. So, about all I learned is that they are a quartet and acknowledge (as most musicians do) being influenced by the music they grew up on.  If I had to guess what that music was, I’d say that, in addition to the aforementioned Billy Joel and Styx, I’d say it was a lot of blues, some pop, and possibly even some Frank Zappa. It’s worth noting, though, that they describe themselves as a “circus blues band.”

Croatia1As I continued listening, something dawned on me ~ yes, I was getting a little bit tired of the almost carnival-like story telling vibe of the vocals ~ damn, this stuff was musically really good!  The song “I don’t know what I don’t wanna know and I don’t go where I don’t wanna go” ~ which may be the longest title ever ~ has some great guitars, piano, bridges/changes that give it the feel that it could be part of an amazing Broadway show; the same goes for the track “Pa ti ri ri ri,” which likewise displays Rolin Humes’ significant musical talent.

Of course, it wasn’t ‘til my next listen through that I realized if I clicked on the songs, I could read the lyrics, conveniently written in, yes, English. Oddly, reading the lyrics confused me a little more, so I think for my summary of the Rolin Humes band and its music, I am going to go with a string of words that I hope will inspire you to have a listen for yourself, because the band really IS indefinable ~ and you’ll either consider that part of their charm or wish you could feel like you were standing on more familiar musical ground while listening to them:   talented, creative, with recognizable influences but never imitative, genre-blending, likely not to be the next mass-appeal sensation, stylistically elusive, but definitely interesting.  Now go listen and come to your own conclusion, because exposing yourself to new music, even if you don’t fall in love with it immediately or ever, is NEVER a bad thing.

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rolinhumes.wix.com/rolinhumes

rolinhumes.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/rolinhumes

 

One Comment

  1. Thank you very much for your kind words.

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