Botch We Are The Romans

Botch may have single-handedly done for the metal-hardcore-noise community with We Are the Romans, what the Refused did for the punk/metal scene with The Shape of Punk to Come — redefine what can be done while retaining heavier elements, aggression and emotion. Aspects of Botch’s earlier explorations of metallic hardcore remain, but there is an increased fascination with math rock, odd noises, time signatures, melodies and sonics. Bassist/philosophical spokesperson Brian Cook isn’t straining himself with back-patting or really acknowledging the feat. “I think it’s a good record,” Cook says. “I’m excited about it. I think it is a really cohesive album. Hopefully, the next album will be even better, I don’t think anyone in Botch is like, ‘This is our masterpiece,’ but we are a lot more happy with this than anything else we’ve ever done. It is just more defined, able to go off in new directions, which is something we’ve always wanted to do, but we’ve never had our shit together before.” While We Are the Romans explores new musical directions, it also is somewhat of a concept album, tackling many negative aspects of the American ego and culture, from the way they view the rest of the world, and how they want to remake it in their own image, to how they view themselves, to the decay that is rampant in everyday America. It isn’t that much of a stretch to see an empire on the decline. “Everyone thinks of the decline of the Roman civilisation and it just collapsed because people didn’t pay attention to what was going on. They had this solid culture that just decayed. You can draw many parallels to present day America, and I think the whole album has that same concept. It was kind of an unintentional theme, we didn’t write the album thinking it was going to be about the American ego, but it kind of came out that way.” (Hydra Head)