Lost Gems: Romeo Retarded – High Road

Let’s take the time machine back to the early 2000’s again, to the free-wheeling, mp3-sharing wild west. When you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting and up-and-coming pop punk band. So many came and went without making a peep, and very few have managed to remain in our memories.

Well, Bathurst, New Brunswick band Romeo Retarded have managed to keep a place in my memory and heart, mostly thanks to their endearing track “High Road” off the album Nintendo Week. While the band was clearly young, and still learning their way around recording (the production and guitar tones are raw and unpolished, yet still delightful), the group still figured out their way around a sticky hook and emotional, harmonized chorus (“Don’t take the high road. Just say your last goodbyes and get in that car and drive away”).

The track, about escaping (either a relationship, or a bad situation), is lyrically straight-forward and was 100% relatable to my young college self, and the desire I often had to just jump in a car and drive away from any bad times I was having. Coming in at a sharp 2:40, the song doesn’t overstay its welcome, and saves one last powerful “…awaaaaaaaay” for the end before closing out with bullet-fast drum outro.

Like so many of the bands from this era, there isn’t that much online about them. The bio I could find on them kept things brief:

Formed in 1998, started out locally, as most bands do. Toured in 1999 and 2000 with two albums under their belts, entitled Funk As Puck, and Nintendo Week. Did everything D.I.Y. to get their stuff out there…

And while those albums aren’t available on major streaming services, the group has thankfully maintained a Bandcamp page, so all of you can stream the track (and even pay to download it if you’re feeling generous). Check it out below!

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