romeo void - it's a condition

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where is the post-punk/new wave love for this album? i don't think there is even a romeo void thread on ilm. there are two threads that "hilariously" pit them against berlin and missing persons, but i never think of those two bands when i think of romeo void. i think all of their albums are really good too. i wanted to start a thread about It's A Condition in particular to avoid the general "oh yeah i like those two songs the singer was kinda big right haha" posts that those other threads contain. anyway, this came out on 415 Records and I don't think it ever came out on cd. But I am not up-to-date when it comes to cd reissues. I like the whole thing. the moody brit bass-driven stuff, the sax, the jangly early new wave action. for a debut it's really accomplished and well thought out. i guess they had been around for a while before they made it though. i like the vibe. kinda sad. kinda blue. great factory records drum beats. lots of echo. the intro to the first song "myself to myself" totally sounds like joy division! um, "isolation" i think. it's a great song too. and debora is just one of the great dead-pan new wave-era vocalists ever. i don't know if this record is underrated or people just haven't heard it cuz it's not on cd. even if they had only put out that 1982 never say never ep they would be remembered fondly i suppose, but they were more than that and their later claim to radio fame! (like i said, benefactor and instincts are both really cool albums too)

scott seward, Monday, 2 April 2007 20:50 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm pretty sure there is a thread, scott, but I'll bite, since I've been wanting to write about how the glistening, sad "A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)" represents their apex.

But this doesn't answer the question.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 2 April 2007 21:33 (fifteen years ago) link


chaki, Monday, 2 April 2007 21:36 (fifteen years ago) link

there is no question, alfred. i just wanted to give a shout-out to this record. there is probably love for it. i just never noticed any on ilm.

scott seward, Monday, 2 April 2007 21:45 (fifteen years ago) link

oh and i really did look for a thread devoted to the band, but i only found those taking sides threads.

scott seward, Monday, 2 April 2007 21:45 (fifteen years ago) link

oh, this is awesome. totally in the vein of unknown pleasures (esp. "i mean it" and the peter hooky bass lines) or seventeen seconds-era cure. i remember how heartbroken i was when i eagerly bought the "never say never" ep and hear that they'd completely changed their sound. "i might you better if we slept together" is so much crasser than what went before.

mike a, Monday, 2 April 2007 23:19 (fifteen years ago) link

having said that, "girl in trouble" remains a highlight. it's fun to imagine that with the arrangement/production style of it's a condition.

mike a, Monday, 2 April 2007 23:21 (fifteen years ago) link

i do like that mix of the post-punk sound with the reverb-y new wave guitar sound. i shouldn't have said "jangly" new wave up above. it has that surf guitar sound on some tracks. not in like a b-52s way, but similar to tons of other new wave bands going back to the 70's. the later stuff has that too.
and just so people don't think i'm being snooty in favor of the lesser-known, i too adore girl in trouble and never say never. both god-like. it's just the early sound is so good and less heralded.

scott seward, Monday, 2 April 2007 23:30 (fifteen years ago) link

I bought all the Romeo Void records about 6-8 months ago. I recall this being a good album, although nothing on it really stuck. Maybe it's time to play it again.

Bimble, Tuesday, 3 April 2007 03:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Wounded Bird Records has reissued / remastered both Benefactor and Instincts. Maybe they'll do the same for It's a Condition, though I don't see any mention of it on their website. Definitely worth the reissue treatment, to get the five tracks that weren't put on the Warm In Your Coat compilation.

scampering alpaca, Tuesday, 3 April 2007 03:59 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember skimming through the Romeo Void entry in an early edition of the "Trouser Press Record Guide" in which the reviewer claimed that they were very similar to Mission Of Burma, no lie! WTF?

Myonga Vön Bontee, Tuesday, 3 April 2007 09:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Just know "Never Say Never", which I adore - I sort've figured they were a US equiv. of the Au Pairs

etc, Wednesday, 4 April 2007 00:42 (fifteen years ago) link

i love romeo void and have a few of their records but not this one.

get bent, Wednesday, 4 April 2007 01:00 (fifteen years ago) link

five years pass...

totally in the vein of unknown pleasures (esp. "i mean it" and the peter hooky bass lines) or seventeen seconds-era cure.

Yes, it is, isn't it?

A wonderful album that would be a lot more beloved had it been recorded by anyone except Americans.

I've championed this album and Wire Train's 'in a chamber' as American new wave monuments for quite some time now.

Long overdue a revival. I thought for sure that RV's "Bands Reunited" episode would spur something, but alas, not really.

Although It's a Condition did receive it's CD debut from the underrated Wounded Bird label:

Austin, Thursday, 28 February 2013 05:55 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

So this band is pretty good, huh? I can't believe I waiting this long to dive in, given how awesome "Never Say Never" is. I should have just assumed there was more stuff in there worth my time.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 2 October 2015 17:51 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

holy shit how did i go so long without hearing Never Say Never? i guess i have that recent Pitchfork list of 80s tunes to thank for the heads up. can't believe it wasn't a much much bigger record.

piscesx, Tuesday, 17 November 2015 16:11 (six years ago) link

It was a pretty big record, which is to say not a big hit (there was a lot of downright mistrust of anything "new wave" back then) . . . but a tune which existed on the lower margins of commercial success for a very very long time.

crustaceanrebelisback, Tuesday, 17 November 2015 16:24 (six years ago) link

yeah it was very present in the early 80's, I distinctly remember seeing the band do it live on TV

sleeve, Tuesday, 17 November 2015 16:33 (six years ago) link

xp ah i mean UK wise. didn't chart at all not even in the Top 75. actually according to Wiki and Discogs maybe it was never even released here. but i mean.. fuck.. a great tune.

piscesx, Tuesday, 17 November 2015 16:34 (six years ago) link

I'm just here to say I love when a Romeo Void topic gets revived.

Austin, Tuesday, 17 November 2015 16:46 (six years ago) link

Ditto on the revival thrill. "Your Life is a Lie" is one of my favorite '80s songs.

This site is defunct, but the four tracks it lists from the 1993 reunion have me curious. I also hoped the "Bands Reunited" would spur more music, but respect them for not moving on without the integral sax player's sound. Boo, tinnitus.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Tuesday, 17 November 2015 21:37 (six years ago) link

Hmmm, that '93 stuff has the potential to be really good. . . or really bad.

Did some YouTubeing to look for it, but came up with this guy instead:

Austin, Wednesday, 18 November 2015 01:41 (six years ago) link

Really into this live set. Vocals a bit too loud, but they're pretty ace and play most of It's a Condition.

Austin, Wednesday, 18 November 2015 03:08 (six years ago) link


The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 18 November 2015 03:10 (six years ago) link

that is an incredible show, wow. sync's a little off maybe?? but what a band.

tremendous crime wave and killing wave (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Wednesday, 18 November 2015 18:55 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

I'm ashamed of myself for not always all the time remembering how great this band is, especially It's A Condition and Benefactor.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 29 December 2016 01:15 (five years ago) link

Okay, go ahead and include Instincts as well. More streamlined, but fantastic all the same.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 29 December 2016 01:40 (five years ago) link

I love it when this thread gets revived.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 29 December 2016 11:00 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

_Instincts_ and now listening to _Benefactor_, remembering how much I love this band. Missed out on Debora Iyall releasing _Stay Strong_ and a later EP in 2010, but CD Baby has copies that I'm ordering today.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Monday, 18 June 2018 15:10 (four years ago) link

I'm just here to say I love when a Romeo Void topic gets revived.

― Austin, Tuesday, November 17, 2015 8:46 AM (two years ago)

(V) (°,,,,°) (V) (Austin), Monday, 18 June 2018 15:15 (four years ago) link

four years pass... - nice summary of the band's history and output. One of those bands that changed my teenage view of what a band could look and sound like. Would be great if a cure for tinnitus was found for Benjamin Bossi, to stoke the slight chance of further music.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Monday, 20 June 2022 18:30 (three months ago) link

oh hell yes.

thank you for posting. terrific piece.

I'm ANTIFA and I vote. (Austin), Monday, 20 June 2022 20:44 (three months ago) link

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