This is another new segment where I review new albums by both newer bands and older bands that release new music! This first segment will be about the band ROAM.
ROAM is a band from Eastbourne, UK formed in 2012 and have released the EPs No Common Ground, Head Down, and Viewpoint. If I had to describe them to someone who has never listened to them before, I would say that they are a combination of Sum 41 and New Found Glory. Their debut full length album Backbone is out today via Hopeless Records, and I highly recommend it! The music is heavy, but very melodic, and the lyrics and vocals are very pure and emotional sounding. That is just a summary though, here’s my in-depth, below!
After the comical intro track “The Desmond Show,” “Cabin Fever” is a strong, upbeat, and catchy opening track that sets the theme for the English pop-punkers. Followed by the song “Deadweight,” which was the first single released before the album, it is a heavy hitter with another singalong chorus that fits perfectly with simple, yet crushing riffs. The fourth track “All The Same,” could be comparable to fellow UK pop-punk band Neck Deep, but it is still a great tune. I will admit though, the ending took me off guard because, to me, there is no clear structure in the verses. They are kind of short, which is what makes the song feel like it goes by faster than the 2:21 that it is.
“Hopeless Case” is the next track, as well as the second single from the album. With a groovy drumbeat, and dueling guitars throughout the song, this sure makes it another standout track, and sure to be a fan favorite live along with “Deadweight.” Almost immediately, things slow down a bit on the track “Bloodline;” that being said, it is actually the intro that slows down. The rest of the song is very New Found Glory-esque, which is still killer, nonetheless. Continuing the punk rock influence, the next song “RIP In Peace” showcases a Green Day style verse riff, with early Fall Out Boy in the pre-chorus and chorus. On first listen, this has become one of my favorites on the album. Everything about this song, from the drumming to the guitar riffs to the dueling vocals near the end of the song, this is a song that they need to play live.
Things get acoustic on the song “Tracks.” It is a beautiful song about covering up the past and trying to move on into the not-so-distant future. Definitely one of the most beautiful and moving tracks on the album…get it? (Sorry for the pun). “Head Rush” picks the pace back up with some of the coolest riffs on this album, and some of the best riffs in the newer school of pop-punk today. “Goodbyes,” while it is not the last track, showcases lyrical themes of saying goodbye to life experiences too soon, which invokes powerful emotion in the words that are sung. Along that same emotional line, the song “Tell Me” deals with a breakup, and is probably the most “mid-tempo” (for lack of a better word) songs). It’s ending is completely different from the rest of the song, and it also has nothing to do with the concluding track “Leaving Notice.” That song, another strong song that should be played live, has the same heavy energy as “Deadweight,” but sounds different from that single. Either way, it is another favorite of mine on the album.
If you have not heard of this band yet, you should sit down and listen to this album right away. It is catchy yet heavy, melodic yet very punk-rock influenced, and overall a strong debut album. I see nothing but a bright future ahead for ROAM, and I hope to see them live in the states very soon!
Standout tracks: “Cabin Fever,” “RIP In Peace,” “Tell Me,” “Leaving Notice”