With a galloping beat as infectious as the flu bug and a haze of a harmony starting to form slowly but surely in the background, Terrorists of Romance’s “Always Choose Wrong” comes into focus in a five second intro that immediately clues listeners into the kind of violently melodic rock n’ roll fever they’re about to be overcome with. Only one second later, Vanessa Salvi is singing with a passionate vocal as rich with tonality as any of the other instruments are, and despite the fact that she has a drum part bearing down on her like a wild animal lurching towards its prey only moments before an inevitable slaughter-fest, she doesn’t sound concerned at all. To be quite frank, she sounds downright swaggering, and with a voice like hers, who wouldn’t be?
Salvi’s voice is the lace to the leather in the drums, and we’re led through the first stanza of lyrics in the song, we discover that the two can very much coexist in the world Terrorists of Romance has created for us here. “Always Choose Wrong” looks and feels like a pop song at the onset of its destructive path of carnage, but the longer it drones on with its hooky harmony and guttural guitar chugging, it starts to become impossible for us to ignore just how much of a rock n’ roll pulse is present here. This is an act that worshipped Nirvana in the 90’s as much as they did Liz Phair’s noisier pop tunes, but its resulting sound is more cosmopolitan and contemporary than it is retrospective.
If there was one thing I would change about this track, it would only be to make the vocal a little louder in the mix during the chorus. The guitars and the bass parts are clashing into each other with a black and white ferocity that works well for the flow of the song, but if Salvi’s singing was just a little more prominent in the big picture, I feel like “Always Choose Wrong” would sell well with traditional pop/rockers as well as the heavy riff-minded among us. There’s a lot of duality to the Terrorists of Romance sound, and in due time I think the experimental edge will eventually soften into something marketable to anyone who loves powerful female vocalists.
Fans of hard rock with harmonies cannot go wrong with Terrorists of Romance’s “Always Choose Wrong,” which ranks as one of my favorite new alternative tracks to drop in the last year. 2020 is a wide open field for the independent rock movement, and though there’s a lot of talent coming out the American underground right now, Vanessa Salvi’s work is sounding just as competent (if not a bit more so) than anything coming from her western rivals both mainstream and indie alike. After You Left, the debut album from ToR, is a must-listen if you’re into the emerging European rock identity, and moreover, the future of a genre that has proven more times than any other to be impossible to destroy.
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