Luxembourg project ROME, which is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Jerome Reuter, has been an ongoing venture for 15 years. New albums have been released at regular intervals over the years, and now counts more than a dozen productions. In addition some live albums and a good amount of EPs and singles have surfaced over the years as well. The single “Ächtung, Baby!” is the most recent release by Rome, and the physical editions of the single also comes with the B-side track Any Other Grey.
The main course here is a dark but majestic affair, with booming majestic drums driving the song onward, and the contrasting vocals of Reuter and guest vocalist Alan Averill contributing to the tension. The acoustic guitar is the main instrument here, or instruments perhaps, but at least to my mind played in a manner that reminds more of an acoustic take on post-punk than folk-oriented music. That being said, there are some details here and there that have a bit of a folk music spirit to them, including a nice acoustic guitar and whistle interlude.
The B side Any Other Grey is just as solid as the A side track here to my mind, with more of a folk and acoustic rock orientation but with deep, dark vocals and majestic rhythms again playing vital roles in creating a mood and atmosphere that demands attention. The contrast between a verse that is a bit more spartan and sparse and a chorus more majestic and fleshed out also works very well here.
While Rome is best known inside a neo-folk context, at least the main track on this single release is one I suspect quite a few post-punk fans might feel attracted to as well. But in general, if mainly acoustic rock music is your thing, and you enjoy music of this kind to be dark and contain a lot of nerve, this is a single worth hunting down – if any of the 500 copies remain at this point.
My rating: 80/100