New Jersey-based artist Rob Romano, known for his band Professor Caveman, has released a new EP titled Vol. 5 under his new moniker Chico Romano. Self-titled “Latin Psych Funk Punks from NJ,” Chico Romano’s music fits the bill. The album expertly blends bedroom pop, indie funk, and Tropicália to create an entirely unique sound. Romano’s wide talent range as well as his diverse musical tastes are showcased on the album.

Each song introduces new sounds, like the cheery sound effects on “Who Said,” that give the album its charm and quirks. The instrumentals are electric and irresistible. “Wasted Wizard” is, in my opinion, the best track on the album and is also a great example of Romano’s ability to create a track that is multifaceted and complex. The bass line and drum solos bring in a strong groove, which transitions into lo-fi, then back into an upbeat funk that remains for the rest of the track. The album has a home-made quality. Like many other modern indie bands, Chico Romano utilizes scratchy mic sounds and home-studio recording styles. This aesthetic comes second to the actual instrumentation, however, and Romano brings a breath of fresh air to the widely used convention.

Overall, the album is fun, groovy, and a great listen. The short run-time and great tracks bring you back wanting more. Romano’s attention to diversity and originality creates a dynamic album that feels both vintage and modern. Vol. 5 is now streaming on all major music service platforms.

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