ROAM Shows UK Pop Punk Is Still On Top
Over the last few years Pop Punk has seen a massive resurgence with bands such as The Story So Far, The Wonder Years and Real Friends taking the entire world by storm. And one of the best things about this second coming of Pop Punk is the rise of UK bands being able to compete with their American counterparts, which is where Eastbourne's Roam come in. Having already released 3 brilliant EP's full of catchy punk bangers, 2016 sees the release of Roam's debut full length, Backbone released on Hopeless Records. But with many great bands coming out of the UK in the moment, can Roam still deliver?
Starting with a skit of an American radio show host, the album goes into two strong tracks showing two very different sides of Roam's music, the classic power chords and catchy choruses from Cabin Fever, and then the fast, aggressive riffing on Deadweight that could have been lifted straight from a Set Your Goals album (with a feature from SYG's own Matt Wilson on this track.)
Another highlight on this album is Hopeless Case, I dare you to listen to this without grinning a little, massive posi vibes here featuring some great back and forth dual vocals between vocalist Alex Costello and guitarist Alex Adam. R.I.P In Peace reeks of Sum 41 influence and keeps the pace going until we get to the first acoustic track... Tracks. Acoustic Pop Punk songs are a real hit and miss affair, and to make it a hit there really needs to be some strong lyrics to accompany it which Roam kind of lack throughout the whole album but only really stands out on these slower tracks that just end up sounding a bit wet.
But the energy comes straight back with a re-recorded version of Head Rush from their second EP which is given a new breath of life and still sounds as huge as when it was first released. After slowing up the pace again in Tell Me, Roam finish the record by bringing back the punk and attitude on the closing track Leaving Notice, which closes everything in the best sort of way.
Whilst Roam haven't really blown any holes in the genre, or even made something that could be considered a landmark album, this is definitely a great record that's packed full of bouncy tunes that are made to be played in a tiny, sweaty venue with stage dives and sing alongs aplenty. Another thing to praise Roam on is definitely still keeping the punk edge strong here as opposed to many other bands focusing on watering down their sound to appeal to the more commercial side of Pop Punk. With Roam leading the charge for the post-Neck Deep wave of UK Pop Punk bands, I'd say this is definitely something to be proud of for our scene here in this country.