Paul Lewis & Romeo Rage Drop Sky’s Rust

By Deuce

With an act named Paul Lewis & Romeo Rage, it would seem that there would be a perfect split in the duties performed on a particular project (which, in this case, just so happens to be Sky’s Rust, the eight-track album that was released towards the end of last month).

One of the fellas in the vocal booth, perhaps, and the other one masterminding the music. Or, so you would think.

The reality, however, is a bit more complicated. Granted, Lewis is the lead vocalist for the duration of the album. But, he’s also credited with the surplus of guitars on this outing—many of which are worthy of attention—as well as the keys.

Allen Trainor is getting down on the bass and background vocals, the latter of which he shares with John Sanders, who also masterminds the drums and the percussion. Together, the trio’s efforts culminate in some memorable moments, such as “Slip Away”, a daring, double-timed, slow tempo affair complete with programmed drums, catchy snares, and the most overt ambitions at contemporary pop or urban that you’ll find on the collection.

Lewis really holds nothing back on the guitars, which overwhelm in parts without overpowering, touching on feelings that aren’t well defined or immediately discerned (which is saying something for this particular instrument).

In fact, the ability to flip the drums, some of which have seemingly acoustic sounds, yet are laid down so tight it makes you think they had to be programmed, is one of the hallmarks of this LP and Sanders’ input. Check out his heavy clap on half the snares in “The Shift”, another slower number that Lewis adorns with his stringed instrument, this time on the acoustic variety.  

However, the prominence of the bass, which is louder than one might expect on this album, is another thematic device that works well. Trainor’s playing is one of the standouts on “Rips”, which kicks off the show with a moving bass groove, up tempo beat, and a downpour of electric guitars (in parts).

It’s certainly one of the more accessible numbers, as opposed to its antipode of sorts, “Black”, in which Lewis flexes more of his vocal range, adopting an austere, deeper sounding voice and, quite perhaps, subject matter to match. It just goes to show the gamut of styles offered on this project, which won’t disappoint in that respect.

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