Daniel Romano’s Outfit

To doubt Daniel Romano is to be proven a fool. The Canadian songwriter can handle any genre challenge thrown his way, and is often seen turning out classic after classic with The Outfit in tow. Having already had his way with country rock, Americana, indie, and good ol’ soul-battered rock n’ roll, Romano reflects on a few lessons learned on the Cobra Poems sessions and goes deep into the deck for a few punk and power pop classics. Picking at the scars and scabs of the early aughts’ revival rock roundup, the songs on Too Hot To Sleep conjure up a more recent rendering of the rock repository’s cadre of denim deities but they never stray from classic status.

Where Romano often lodges in a hook and lets a sense of swagger hold court, on Too Hot To Sleep there’s more of a sense of breathless catharsis. Dotted with a few rock n’ soul swingers that find Romano volleying vocals Julianna Riolino and Carson McHone, the record also pushes tempos far into the red. Where songs like “Field of Ruins” and “Where’s Paradise” embrace a dip into the sweat rag rockers and leathered licks of ’02, “Chatter” and “That’s Too Rich” find the band picking through the legacy of Jay Reatard, The Adverts, and Generation X. In a lot of ways, this remains a tried n’ true bout of Romano rock, but it’s good to see him kick the tempos and ruffle his composure a bit on this collection. As I’ve said, there are few genres that Daniel Romano can’t conquer, and here he proves that, if need be, the tiger in his tank is ready to rip into the jugular. Summer’s a few months away, but it’s already getting hot in here.

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