Abused Romance epitomizes perseverance. When the alternative rock four-piece relocated from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Los Angeles, California, they didn’t know anybody. In fact, they didn’t even have a place to crash. But within seven months of arriving in the United States, the dynamic quartet rented an apartment, secured a deal with Freeway Records and recorded their full-length debut “Shine.” Knowing this, it’s only fitting that their radio-friendly banger “Overcome” is the album’s leadoff single.
“It’s a song about the fact that people can try to direct you towards a certain direction and it’s a direction that they picked, but they’re not happy with it. They’re not happy with themselves and then, when you have a problem, just overcome it,” Meir Yaniv, the group’s front man and guitarist, explains. “That’s just how it is. That’s life, but it doesn’t have to be life. Life can be whatever you want it to be.”
For Abused Romance, they are breathing life into a somewhat stagnant music industry. Throughout this versatile 12-track collection, the Israeli-bred troupe craft an assortment of mainstream savvy records with invigorating melodies, heavy riffs and pop-rock vocalism. That comes across beautifully on the addictive “Vaporize,” the edgy “Sound Of Violence,” and somber ditties of heartbreak “Shades Of Grey” and “Hit And Run.” They also display stellar musicianship on the all-instrumental “Room 2238,” which comes across as an intense two-minute guitar solo.
Despite being signed to Freeway Records, which has a major distribution deal through Bungalo Records/Universal, the band has given the album away as a free download on their website. While it’s a curious move, there is a method behind the madness.
“The bottom line is this: people are buying albums in very little quantities and they listen to the music through sites [like] YouTube and the sound on YouTube sucks,” Yaniv says. “So we wanted to mix it up and have every individual on the planet to have it, turn it up loud, hear it on their speakers and share the music because we rather play to a packed house on any day of the week than sell an additional thousand albums. When people come to the show, there is nothing better than that. It’s the ultimate experience.”
“Shine” Deluxe Version
Although the 12-song effort can be downloaded for free, a deluxe version of “Shine” is available for purchase in stores nationwide and at the group’s shows. It’s a double disc edition with the first disc featuring the album in its entirety, and the second disc featuring both live versions of the songs recorded from The Viper Room in Los Angeles and two studio acoustic tracks.
Unlike most double disc collections, the deluxe version of “Shine” costs $9.99 -- the price of a regular CD. In essence, music consumers are still getting the album for free.
“People can come and see our show, and they can take the album home. They [can] take the show home, so if they like what they saw, they can keep on listening to the whole thing at home,” Yaniv explains. “We think it’s the best thing for the fans [and] the best thing for the music scene. We don’t let the money dictate our business moves. We love the music and we believe that in the end of the road, everybody is gonna be happy.”
Tel Aviv to Hollywood
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Yaniv fell in love with rock ‘n roll when he was just 12-years-old. One of the first American bands he distinctly remembers listening to was Metallica, which prompted him to pursue a music career. “It got me into music. It kinda chooses you,” he admits. “So when I heard Metallica, that was it for me. That became everything for me.”
In 2002, Yaniv left Israel to attend the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. Five years later, he returned back to Tel Aviv and formed Abused Romance. The four-piece (also comprised of guitarist Amit Ofir, bassist Aetam Jakob and drummer Roy Chen) spent the year discovering their style, writing songs together and even playing a handful of shows. But by 2008, they relocated to Los Angeles.
Though Abused Romance came over to America with nothing but a dream, they quickly turned it into a reality. Over the course of seven months, they spent many afternoons on the streets handing out CDs and meeting people of all different walks of life. Little by little, they made some headway until securing a deal with Freeway Records.
Now, with everything fallen into place, Abused Romance is ready to “Shine.” While the Israeli-bred troupe are proud of their music, their ultimate goal is to influence someone’s life -- just like Metallica did for Yaniv.
“I hope ‘Shine’ will be the soundtrack to a lot of people’s eras -- now and in the future,” Yaniv states. “It’s not a bundle of songs with a couple of hits. It’s a complete album that is very diverse and very rich with different sounds and different vibes. I think it can be a soundtrack of somebody’s time and I hope that’s what people get from it.”
Music helps people “Overcome” struggle and perhaps those listeners going through personal issues can work through them and “Shine” like Abused Romance.
- Meir Yaniv: Vocals/Guitar
- Amit Ofir: Guitar
- Aetam Jakob: Bass
- Roy Chen: Drums
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