Rolin Humes is a four piece blues ensemble from Croatia who carries a larger-than-life re-interpretation of an entire genre within their first full length album Rolin Humes Invites You to the Penultimate Supper 6/8. Rolin Humes definitely exemplifies the motto they use: Vivat Crescat Floreat, which means Live, Grow, Flourish. With their unique talents they have nothing left to do but grow and flourish.
Their album starts off with What’s Your Big Secret. This track sets the pace immediately by creating a professional sounding musical cascade that needs no build up to push it into motion. Eventually the large resonating sound slows down slightly for the vocals, but at all times the music is extremely engaging. The music also works on many genre levels including blues, rock and even jazz. What’s Your Big Secret is long, but it never overstays itself welcome. Another great thing about this piece, and many other pieces on this album, is that the lyrics aren’t generic. They tell a story. They share an emotion. They connect with its audience.
The album transitions into Hero which has an opening and feel to it that is reminiscent of what Elton John was doing in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Rolin Humes truly set themselves out as talented musicians within the first few tracks.
Freedom, which follows Hero, is a more difficult song to analyze. It’s hard to pinpoint just one strength in the piece when there is so much going on, and every aspect just sounds right. It does become easy though to focus on the piano playing talent of Robert James Hudlin, who is also the singer and songwriter for the band. Freedom is preppy, perky and fun. It’s easy to tell that the band is having fun and the vocals are just so damn playful.
Wind of Honor isn’t as nearly energetic as the other tracks, yet it still carries itself as a deep song full of emotion and heart. In Flame is story-telling at its best. Rolin Humes re-creates an epic tale with vigour and excitement and make the listener truly connect to what’s happening. Then we have Pa Ti Ri Ri Ri which is almost a self-parody. It’s fun. It’s funny. It’s not to be taken nearly as seriously as the rest of the album.
Finally the album concludes with I Don’t Know What I Don’t Wanna Know and I Don’t Go Where I Don’t Wanna Go. There could be an entire full length review written on this 18:18 song. And no, it’s not a normal length song, followed by silence, followed by a hidden track. This song is fully 18:18 long. It is variations on a theme and continuously evolves. It starts with the bluesy feel we’ve come to know and love by this point, eventually it turns into what feels like a Christian soft-rock piece, yet as the story progresses we keep coming back to the original theme and feel that the song started off with. We go through phases of marches, featuring the drums, happy-go-lucky moments, and tributes to the soft-rock oldies featuring electric guitar solos. Eventually one has to ask: how can this song keep going? Why am I still so engaged? This piece is Rolin Humes epic. It’s truly what defines this album. It’s such a large sound for such a small band. All I could think of when I listened to this album on repeat is that it would be an amazing experience to hear this last song live.
All in all Rolin Humes is a force to be reckoned with. They transcend genre boundaries and create one of the most unique and enjoyable albums I have heard as of late. Definitely watch out for these guys!