After vinyl pressing issues led to a delayed release, Hampshire based Drug Store Romeos finally released their long-awaited debut album ‘The world within our bedrooms’ on 9th July. Allowing fans into a techno world created by the band itself during the pandemic, the record is an insightful and entrancing mixture of indie and dreampop, carving out the up-and-coming three piece’s place in the busy industry.
If Drug Store Romeos’ creative approach had to be described in two words, I would class it as homegrown and freeing. A chat I had with the band back in February revealed the involvement of synaesthesia and independent work in their music. ‘The world within our bedrooms’ is a stellar example of their creative work ethic which allows the individual personalities of each member to shine.
Previously released tracks such as Jim, Let’s Play and Frame of Reference exhibit the heavily produced dream-pop sound which the band is most known for. However, ‘The world within our bedrooms’ sees the band combining this genre with a more traditional indie sound, utilising more instrumentation to demonstrate range in their musicality.
Heavy drums and cymbals feature on Vibrate, bringing an almost grunge-like feel to the record as the experimentation signals the band’s musical evolution
Building Song opens the album with a two-minute guitar and drum led introduction, showcasing the talents of guitarist Charlie and drummer Jonny before lead vocalist Sarah introduces her ethereal vocals, tying back to their dreampop roots. This is a recurring theme throughout the album – heavy drums and cymbals feature on Vibrate, bringing an almost grunge-like feel to the record as the experimentation signals the band’s musical evolution.
Perhaps the youth of the band and their carefree transcendent sound is what makes certain parts of the album feel like a perfect fit for the soundtrack of a coming-of-age film. Secret Plan, opening with a Christmas-like synth, seems like it could be a backing track for a scene in a John Green novel, and Frame of Reference was coincidentally used in Amazon Original film The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things.
The trio from Fleet, Hampshire really took this record as an opportunity to create a technological world of their own
Yet whilst conventional song structure and mass appeal may be used in the above tracks and in the single What’s On Your Mind, the trio from Fleet, Hampshire really took this record as an opportunity to create a technological world of their own. Looping and tempo changes in Bow Wow, Secret Plan, Feedback Loop and Elevator end up defining the album, and the lyricism sees the band taking their introspective technological motif one step further.
Electric Silence, drawing parallels to standalone single Quotations For Locations, references ‘’transmissions between peer groups’’ and an ‘’electric point of view’’, perhaps alluding to the media driven world we live in today. The robotic yet quaint Walking Talking Marathon plays with this theme also, as its abrupt ending, jumbled lyricism and glitching backing track paired with Sarah’s hypnotic vocals makes for a unique and memorable track.
Yet the dreamlike and other-worldy sound of the band never fails to go amiss. Notably, the closing tracks seem to put the listener in a magical trance, with the surround sound and chirping birds in Kites and the twinkling chimes in Cycle Life, built upon by the return of drums in the anthemic yet entrancing closing track Adult Glamour, being a suitable end to a homegrown and spellbinding debut. While more experimentation with further instrumentation may have been welcome, ‘The world within our bedrooms’ highlights the precise and unique musical approach of Drug Store Romeos, which I am sure will only be built upon in the future.
In-article images courtesy of @drugstoreromeosband via instagram.com. No changes were made to these images.
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