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Album Premiere: Paint Fumes Retain Their Muscular Power Pop on 'Real Romance'

Ahead of its official release on Friday, today we have the pleasure in sharing an exclusive first listen to Real Romancer, the roaring and restless fourth album from Charlotte garage punks Paint Fumes. Along with the premiere, we caught up with guitarist-vocalist Elijah von Cramon to dig into the stories behind each snappy number track by track.

Photo by Blaine Hurdle

Somehow since their 2012 debut, Charlotte rockers Paint Fumes have survived a decade with their impenetrable scuzzy garage mayhem that captured the hearts of leather clad garage punks around the country. While landing on bills with King Khan & BBQ Show and Shannon & the Clams and touring exhaustively, Paint Fumes' rollicking swagger of playing fast and dangerous continues on the band's fourth LP Real Romancer. Out this Friday on DIG! Records (the Whiffs, Josephine Network, the Ar-Kives), the new album refines the band's signature sound, moving towards the world of glam-stompin' garage rock and hopeless romantic power pop. Composed of bandleader and guitarist-vocalist Elijah von Cramon, guitarist Joe Boyland, bassist-vocalist Nic Pugh, and drummer Joshua Johnson, Paint Fumes' hammerin' sounds reach anthemic heights with its born-to-loose KBD-benzo treat all attitude that's stacked with an eruption of guitars and swerving rhythms. The hook-laden tune "Holding My Heart" is loaded with an ascending guitar line that has a propulsion to a jet while "Frontline" lays into the band's self-proclaimed "panic attack punk." To help us get to know the new record a little better, we caught up guitarist-vocalist Elijah von Cramon to dig into the stories behind each snappy number track by track.

"Book of Love"

Elijah von Cramon: This was one of the first ones I wrote for the new record. It's about finding new love and delving into the unknown. Always loved the Ronettes' "Be my Baby" drum beat and the one on the Boys' "Brickfield Nights" so I had to have that in there [laughs].

"Holding my Heart"

EVC: A nod to the freshies, but about getting love letters and postcards from a strange love that was maybe never yours.

"Starting Over"

EVC: A nod to the Scientists. It's about how fast love can happen without even knowing it, and wanting that night to last forever. But maybe it won't.


EVC: This is about being in a fucked up love triangle. Lots a three's in this song. In German and English [laughs]. But yeah, just a whole fucked up thing with stealing someone away from their partner I guess. Whoops.

Photo by Jeff Howlett

"Night Owl"

EVC: This one's about how the night time is always the best time or the worst. Anxiety, depression or excitement. Sometimes you find a good time or a bad time. But you are always fucking awake [laughs].


EVC: So I fucked up. And got too loose. And so I wrote this song. It's about having bad brains while tryin' to be sweet to someone. Sometimes it works and sometimes it don't. It's a weird relation to "My Baby's Book" by the Real Kids. Like I'm alright cause I made it in love, but I fucked up. Frontline on cloud nein. German for no. It's happiness and sadness and destruction but tryin ya know?

"Missed a Step"

EVC: Another Scientists nod. Also another one about fucking up [laughs]. How many times have you walked the streets sad blasting Thin Lizzy or whatever else hits ya just screaming along knowing you coulda done better and rethinking everything you said and did? I have A LOT.

"Callin' Out"

EVC: Eh just a easy power pop song with some Roxy Music rip off shit. Talking about real cool times and real cool connections. Feel good ya know? "When I think of all the good times..." Eric Burden had it right.

Photo by Puck Byrne

"Can't Stand It"

EVC: This is the one that made me realize I gotta get the fuck outta my heart and grasp on to what I really do love…rock 'n' roll. A nod to a certain song, I’ll let you figure out. But yeah, breaking points in everyway. And fuck the summer.

"My Dreams"

EVC: Just a straight up love song. Sappy lines. Being away from someone is fucked and I will always think of ya. Ya know? And bad dreams or good, you are in there.

"Bone City"

EVC: This is just pure chaos panic attack mindset. Being left in the dirt, you are stuck in bone city. Being abandoned and forgotten, you are stuck in bone city. But you have to rewatch all the dirty reels of the past that make you feel fucked in a good way and bad way. But still you are stuck in bone city.

"Still Lookin'"

EVC: This is the first song I wrote when I got home from a tour in Europe during the pandemic that was a nightmare. It's about love lost and knowing it might not be okay. Cause we are all still looking. You never want that feeling to end but it does. And you are still gonna search for that feeling that you might never have again.

Real Romancer is out April 14th on DIG! Records.


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