Bayou City

Rome Hero Foxes Avoid The Sophomore Slump

Rome Hero Foxes turn things up on "18 Summers."
Rome Hero Foxes turn things up on "18 Summers." Photo by Natasha Bermudez

It's hard to believe that Katy's Rome Hero Foxes are already dropping their second album, as it seems like just yesterday that they were playing their first shows. Their new album 18 Summers deals with growing up and time passing without getting too schmaltzy in the process. Due out in late July, the album proves that sometimes, bands can avoid the "sophomore slump" when they stay true to who they are while expanding in the most organic way.

Opening things with the snappy and upbeat sounds of "Lost In A Room," the five piece quickly add their earlier relaxed sound to a pop infused hook. Embodying hints of The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and early Young The Giant, the song hits quick and holds your attention. They keep those upbeat notes going on "Break Your Own Bones."  Complete with lovely backing vocals that hop onto the track out of nowhere, the stabs of bubble gum pop are undeniably appealing.

While they tread into doo wop territory on the third track, "Chest Piece," with ease, it's the fourth track "18 Summers" that really sticks with you. The title track has plenty of intertwined indie rock complemented by the memorable verse and catchy chorus.  The more terse direction on "Don't Call My name," reflects a little closer to the earlier works of the band, while they return to the Summertime ease on "San Junipero."

The biggest standout is on "Don't Close The Door"  which tracks closer to the early works of Cage The Elephant while exhibiting how far the five piece has come. They continue that growth with the spacey and chill wave notations of "Seattle Queen." They close things off with the hook heavy and indie pop sounds of "Good For You," bringing the album full circle. Starting with sun drenched days and ending with starry nights, the song wraps things up nicely.

You can pre-order 18 Summers here, or stream it when it drops on July 27. You can catch Rome Hero Foxes in person at their album release party in Houston on August 3. The all ages show at JNJ BNB will feature support sets from No Rehearsal and Camera Cult. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $10.
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David Garrick is a former contributor to the Houston Press. His articles focus primarily on Houston music and Houston music events.