Tampa country-rock group Roppongi’s Ace have once described themselves as “mustache rock”. The distinction of this genre (real or not) is carried with them to every show they play, their moustaches very real and their rock nostalgically alive. Full-throated wails, thumping bass, and a rawness that could make a hock of beef blush are what crowds and the casual listener of Ace’s latest release “Into the Night” have come to expect and appreciate from this Floridian staple. Their music and stomping around Tampa Bay have not gone unnoticed, their latest accolade being voted Tampa’s “Best Local Band” as well as “Best Americana Act” in Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Bay” feature in 2009. This hasn’t been without a fair amount of work, determination on their part either.
After five-years of committing themselves to the local Tampa music scene, cutting their teeth in the bars of Ybor City where bands either find their birth or burn out, Roppongi’s Ace cultivated a sound for themselves rich in its own sense of locality and musicianship. In a week’s time, tracking mostly live, they were able to turn out an impressive debut record titled “Into the Night” under the production of Zen Recording Studios in St.Petersburg.
This 9-track debut showcases the unique, root-pulling sound of Roppongi’s Ace with its crunchy twang while also placing them as exciting figures in the reemerging Americana scene sweeping venues across the country. With “Into the Night”, Roppongi’s Ace takes the listener straight to their music’s burning heart, somehow compacting all of the energy of a kicking live-show into an mp3 format.
The current line-up of Roppongi’s Ace is Alex Spoto on guitar/vocals, Max Norton on drums, Jesse Norton on Bass, and Rockin’ Rob Pastore on Pedal-Steel. Though their sound is rough with the edges of maturity, Roppongi’s Ace still has the rambunctious energy of something just begun. Give them a listen, and if at all possible, come out to a show to support a genuine band.