I loved ROAM’s last album. It showed a very talented new band making their first steps into the music world. It was a little rough around the edges. but what else can you expect from a new band? I feel like rather than taking away from the record, it made it even more charming. And the band definitely know how to write hooks, and big ones at that. But from a great debut like that, where do you go? Do you give the fans more of what they want and expect, or do you try and refine your sound and writing skills. This album is definitely more of the latter, and here’s why.
It’s evident that the band have improved massively from the beginning of the first song, ‘Alive’. The production has improved massively, with everything sounding crisper and clearer than anything the band have ever released before. Their writing is also much improved, proven by the fantastic ‘The Rich Life Of A Poor Man’, which contains probably the best chorus the band have ever written.
Other great songs include ‘Playing Fiction’ and the slightly slower ‘Curtain Call’, which is absolutely anthemic. There are some missteps however, as ‘Guilty Melody’ doesn’t sound quite right, while ‘Left For Dead’ is a little too generic for me. These do little to deter listeners though, as the rest of the songs are not only just catchy, but great quality too.
This is an album of two halves really, and while the first half is fairly middle-of-the-road other than a few songs, the second half really shows how far the band have come. The hooks are better, the vocals are refined but powerful, and everything sounds much clearer. Best of all though, everything just sounds bigger. Where the first album was a rough collection of okay songs with great hooks, this feel so much more like an album from an accomplished band, who really know what they’re really doing. If you’re looking for an album to warm you up as winter approaches, this is it.
Best songs: The Rich Life Of A Poor Man, Curtain Call, Scatterbrained