ROAM are a welcome addition to the British pop-punk scene, bucking the trend of done-to-death clichés in debut album Backbone with an unrivalled supply of youthful energy and headstrong passion that sees all inhibitions go out the window.
Album intro ‘The Desmond Show’ is a mock-up radio show introducing the band, and it’s obvious that ROAM have a great sense of tongue-in-cheek humour; we all love a band who don’t take themselves too seriously. With the songs that follow, such as ‘Cabin Fever’ and ‘Deadweight’, the fun continues in the form of slap-in-the-face riffs, chaotic punk melodies and a tidal wave of energy that will crash right into the ears of a younger generation.
But that’s not to say ROAM aren’t the real deal here – the passion, dedication and hours (and hours, and hours!) of hard work that these guys have poured into Backbone is definitely not to be ignored. The vocals alone, for a spunky skate-punk band, are impressive; listen to the seamless play-off between the two vocalists in ‘Hopeless Case’, or the exquisite tone of exposed vulnerability and adolescent anguish in ‘Tracks’, and you’ll see what we mean.
What is perhaps to be admired above all is how ROAM have hit the nail on the head when it comes to ‘How to Write a Pop-Punk Song’. ROAM manage to pinpoint just what it is that makes pop-punk so irresistibly catchy whilst putting their own fresh, raw Brit-punk twist on it. ‘Head Rush’ is a perfect example of this; the song rips right into a unapologetic, gutsy verse – no holding back with this one! The bridge then has us grooving in no time with a cheeky little melody, followed by a chorus full of wonderfully anthemic lines and shout-a-long moments that make you want to sing until the breath runs out. This is all signed off perfectly with the final note, an angst-ridden lyric repeated over and over; “This one’s for you!”.
We finish with the aptly named ‘Leaving Notice’, another tireless hit packed with cute aggression that fills us with both teenage rage and high spirits. What more could you ask for?! With much of pop-punk in the state that it is, we need bands like ROAM to bring technicolour back to this watered-down scene.