This Spring, Romanus Records bring together Cincinnati cello and drum duo, Lung, with Dayton epic rock trio, Skrt. The split LP is a first time collaboration among these artists. The record contains four new Skrt songs, along with five favorite tracks from Lung’s live set that haven’t been recorded until now. The album will be available for purchase on April 10, 2021 at 3:00pm EST.
Hailed as the new guru for creatively designed vinyl, Romanus Records out of Indiana is changing the record game. Sand, glitter, coffee, beer, liquid, razors, free-floating gun powder, and more have all made their appearance inside of records pressed by Romanus Records founder, Chris Banta, whose visionary anything-goes-philosophy throws the old rules right out. Vivid colors, moving textures, candy-colored splatter, and neon glow-in-the-dark sand-filled vinyl (as is the case for the Lung/Skrt split)... the result is nothing short of stunning. “We are always trying to push the bounds of creativity of what can be put in a record,” says Banta. “It’s such an open-ended artistic format, with endless possibilities.” When asked about the label’s start, Banta told Classic Rock Magazine in an interview for their website: “It started when I started making custom pressings for my own band but needed people to know that we were making them ourselves, as we were contracted to other labels.” This Indiana label holds an impressive roster, featuring bands such Tart, Volk, The Weeks, James Leg, and his own band, Brother O Brother among others. You can hear from Banta himself and many other musicians on his podcast, appropriately called: The Romanus Records Podcast.
What began in 2013 as a queer-centric two-piece in a Dayton, OH basement, has evolved into a way-way-over-the-top art-punk trio whose addictive music is completely unable to sit still. Members Asche (they/them), Abbie (she/her), and Micah (he/him) start where most other bands stop, with no fear of singing a catchy melody over a great guitar riff, and throwing it all onto a bonfire of jagged rhythms, strange sounds and edgy lyrics. Their music contains high-energy quick changes, infectious bass lines, and vocals sounding as if Judy Garland lived long enough to listen to Slint. It’s rare to see a band pull off what SKRT seems to do effortlessly - embracing the experimental and strange successfully within three-minute songs that are both fun and compelling. SKRT has shared bills with bands such as: Ganser, Kitten Forever, Minority Threat, Screaming Females, Ringo Deathstarr, R. Ring, Dana, and Hissing Tiles and are regular headliners of Ladyfest Dayton.
Lung has a sound that is dark and commanding, evoking the driving sludge of early grunge with layered sinister undertones. The band is Kate Wakefield, a classically trained opera singer, and Daisy Caplan, formerly of Foxy Shazam, Babe Rage, and Ayin. Playing shows from Nelsonville Music Festival to famed DIY venues like 924 Gilman Street, Lung have made their presence known and developed the reputation as a “must see” band. Since their first performance in April 2016, the pair have played over 400 shows across North America, with a European tour under their belt. Their sophomore album: ‘All The King’s Horses’ landed them the title of one of Daytrotter’s ‘Top 100 bands for 2018’, and worked the crowd into a frenzy at their SXSW 2018 Official Showcase.
When able to tour, Lung lives out of the van for most of the year. The band chooses to play in mostly all-ages, non-bar venues because it’s a part of their conviction that all people deserve access to art/music. “To me, an ideal show is a collaborative effort between everyone present. Communication and exchange of ideas, musical and otherwise, drive the experience and can take everyone involved to some pretty fabulous places”, says Daisy Caplan, drummer of Lung. Touring heavily in 2019, Lung traversed Germany, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia, co-headlined an East Coast tour with punk legends ShellShag and were poised to headline a two month run, including dates at Treefort Music Festival sharing the bill with versatile, nomadic bassist CJ Boyd when the Coronavirus hit the pause button on the world. In the unexpected downtime of 2020, Lung managed to author an entirely new album while finalizing the mastering of an already-completed full length. Be on the lookout for these two full lengths on the horizon soon.