Based in Hays, Kansas, folk-rock artist Jordan Rome introduces his latest single, “Till the End,” one of two tracks on his recently recorded 7”. The other track, released on April 24, is entitled “Charon,” borrowed from the boatman who ferried dead souls across the Styx River into Hades.
Raised in the Midwest, Rome grew up in an almost insulated environment, where the usual cultural trappings, such as social and music ‘scenes,’ really didn’t exist, which proved to be a blessing to Rome’s developing sound: he didn’t distinguish one genre from another. It was all pretty much the same to him – music. So he used what he needed without discrimination, pulling in influences from country, folk, and punk rock.
Once he picked up a guitar, Rome rapidly achieved excellence, playing with the Impregnators from 1999 to 2015, while simultaneously polishing his own music, made up of bluesy barroom rock, vaguely reminiscent of Lead Belly crossed with Cancerslug.
March 2018 saw him releasing his self-titled debut album, followed a year later by an acoustic EP, Songs for the Soulless.
Replete with a dazzling array of ink, Rome’s ‘Virgin Mary and Souls,’ on his left forearm, was done by Jeff Whitehead at Tattoo City in San Francisco. His left rib displays the ‘American Werewolf in London,’ while Mr. Barlow “Nosferatu” adorns his right forearm, by Ben Alvarez at Done Right Tattoo in Kansas City, Missouri. ‘The Raven’ on his left neck was executed by Carlos Ransom of Abraxas Tattoo in Lawrence, Kansas; and ‘The Crypt Keeper’ on his inner right bicep was courtesy of Pony Lawson of Mayday Tattoo Co. in Chicago, Illinois.
Rome’s lyrics lean toward complexity, rife with nuanced meanings, which consents to compound interpretations. Yet Rome’s attitude about how listeners decipher his lyrics remains nonchalant.
“I don’t put a lot of thought into how it will be received,” he says. “If I see value in it, I did my best, and then I’m satisfied.”
“Till the End” opens on driving country-punk-flavored guitars, initially conjuring up hints of Johnny Cash, but then gravitates to heftier punk savors, infusing the tune with a delicious contrast of tangs: retro-outlaw country and quasi-hardcore punk.
Rome’s voice delivers hints of sneering punk impudence amalgamated with radiant backing harmonies, giving the tune a “Ghost Riders in the Sky” glow of creamy tones.
Potent and tantalizingly familiar, “Till the End” is a scrumptious concoction of punk and country elements, topped by the surging voice of Jordan Rome.