#Review: ROAM – Smile Wide ūüźü

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Muzik Speaks Loves Hopeless Records - SmallerROAM are a British pop punk band from Eastbourne, consisting of members Alex Costello (vocals), Alex Adam (lead guitar and backing vocals), Matt Roskilly (bass), Sam Veness (rhythm guitar) and Miles Gill (drums). The band formed in 2012, signed to Hopeless Records in 2014 and already have 2 albums under their belt. Now, 2019 sees the release of the band’s third album, Smile Wide. Here are our thoughts on their latest record…

ROAM - Smile Wide

Smile Wide kicks off with ‘Better In Than Out’ – a guitar-chugging anthem with an understated verse that leads right into an intense yet edgy chorus. A slightly darker tone than their previous album and a great way to launch into the record.

Next comes single, ‘I Don’t Think I Live There Anymore’, a great demonstration of their dual vocals and a pretty cool guitar solo – there’s something quite American indie band about it, again demonstrating a more diverse side to their sound.

One thing is for certain, since their previous release, Great Heights & Nosedives, the band have certainly done what I thought they needed to – adapted their sound and tried to bring some new things to the pop punk table – and it’s worked well. Whilst at its core, this is still a pop punk band, there are some moments of diversity and differences of tone that make this a slightly more mature and interesting album to listen to.

Smile Wide showcases just how far the band have come and how they have spent time developing their sound.

For example, ‘Play Dumb’ is a much heavier track than we might otherwise have become used to hearing from ROAM, and it sounds great! ‘Toy Box’ is a cleverly-written track about not being cast aside by clever use of metaphors, with a sensational breakdown at the bridge, whilst closing track, ‘Turn’, is very different in tone to the rest of the album. It’s much more middle of the road rock, than pop punk but nevertheless a beautiful track that stands out from the rest with its rather mellow, reflective and positive vibes and lyricism, making it a wonder end to the record.

There’s no mistaking the British roots of this band either, with their rather over-pronounced British accent on tracks like ‘The Fire On The Ceiling’ and ‘Red & Blue’ – both great pop punk songs with the latter using more grungy guitar sounds and the album’s title appearing within the lyrics.

One track in particular that possibly stands out for being quite poor, is ‘Loud’ – the lyrics are not well written and the guitar sound is pretty shrill and unpleasant to listen to, however I’m sure pre-teen emos will adore it.

Conversely, the two best tracks have to be: ‘Piranha’ – a very Simple Plan-esque song with funky rhythms and very chantable vocals. What stands out even more is how it switches up pace part way through, showing another improvement to their evolving sound. This could really be an iconic live track for the band; and then there’s ‘Hand Grenade’ – it has an excellent, calm intro that leads straight into rapid-pace drums and long, held vocal notes sure to have people belting it out. In particular, the imagery of the lyrics resonates wonderfully with listeners and great gang, ‚Äúna na na,” chants take us right to the end.

ROAM have done a great job with this album; Smile Wide showcases just how far the band have come and how they have spent time developing their sound, testing the waters of something new, but whilst still keeping their roots in the genre they know so well. Considering these developments over just a couple of years, I wonder what they’ll sound like in a couple more?! I certainly can’t wait to hear what they do next, can you?

Rating
4


‘Smile Wide’ is out 06/09/19 and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/smile-wide/1468023906


Smile Wide on Spotify

Coming 06/09/19.

I Don’t Think I Live There Anymore (Official Music Video)

Piranha (Visual)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s latest album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: ROAM – Great Heights & Nosedives


   

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ROAM are a British pop punk band from Eastbourne, consisting of members¬†Alex Costello (vocals), Alex Adam (lead guitar and backing vocals), Matt Roskilly (bass), Sam Veness (rhythm guitar) and Miles Gill (drums). The band formed in 2012 and since then have performed on the Warped Tour ’16, signed to¬†Hopeless Records and have now just released their second album,¬†Great Heights & Nosedives.

ROAM - Great Heights & Nosedives Cover2.png

The band’s new record opens with the hard-hitting track,¬†‘Alive’, and doesn’t really let up from its high-energy, bounce-inducing pop punk for the majority of the album. It is undoubtedly a good effort from the band and a strong follow-up to 2016’s debut,¬†Backbone, however it’s not really taking any great strides to revolutionise the already saturated world of pop punk.

Sadly, ‘Curtain Call’ feels a little like it’s trying too hard to be profound but slightly missing the mark, whilst¬†‘Home’ is quite a letdown – it really doesn’t finish the album in as strong a way as it started, with just a quick fade out at the end, making it feel like the band weren’t sure quite how to finish the track – I really expected some long and explosive grande finale.

This is an album which is undoubtedly going to sit well within a hardcore, pop punk lover’s collection.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great moments on the album too, such as the banger that is ‘Alive’,¬†thundering guitars and mosh-inducing rhythm of¬†‘Left For Dead’, the grungy, fast-paced¬†‘Open Water and the varying tempos of the somewhat funky,¬†‘The Rich Life Of A Poor Man’,¬†which overall, make it quite a thrilling record, however I still feel like it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. I find myself reminiscing some of the earlier days of¬†New Found Glory,¬†All Time Low¬†and¬†We The Kings and at points even¬†Four Year Strong.

The album was produced by Kyle Black (who’s worked with the likes of State Champs, New Found Glory and¬†Comeback Kid) in Los Angeles, California. This explains the authentic American sound to the record and might account for Alex Costello‘s pseudo-American accent throughout. Whilst this is synonymous with the genre, it’d be nice to hear an English-sounding pop punk band, just for a change.

This is an album which is undoubtedly going to sit well within a hardcore, pop punk lover’s collection…and it should; it’s a decent record. I just think that in order to really stand out from the masses of similar bands and achieve longevity in their career, they’re going to have to really push the boundaries of the genre on their next album; consider the likes of¬†Paramore,¬†Fall Out Boy,¬†Good Charlotte¬†and¬†All Time Low.

Rating
3


‘Great Heights & Nosedives’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/great-heights-nosedives/id1270970229


Great Heights & Nosedives on Spotify

Alive (Official Video)

Playing Fiction (Official Video)


We really hope you’ve enjoyed our latest album review! What are your thoughts on ROAM’s Great Heights & Nosedives? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: ROAM – ‘Playing Fiction’ & Neck Deep – ‘In Bloom’


   

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ROAM – ‘Playing Fiction’

ROAM are currently gearing up to release their second album,¬†Great Heights & Nosedives, the first single from which, is¬†‘Playing Fiction’.

Alex Adam (Guitar/Vocals) explains the thinking behind the track –¬†‚ÄúPlaying Fiction is really a song about pretending, and the realisation that things aren’t always how they seem. Maybe you‚Äôre pretending you’re ok, saying nothing’s wrong when it actually is, or, as is the case in Playing Fiction, you‚Äôre pretending a relationship hasn’t run its course when it has.¬†

The video for the song centres around myself and Costello walking through a town with strange scenes appearing as the day progresses. It all builds towards our realisation that we’re stuck in a fairytale daydream, and we end up being a part of the fantastical world. It was a lot of fun to shoot with all our friends and some cheeky special extras in various costumes. We‚Äôll let you guess as to their identities‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

This incredibly fresh pop punk band release their second record on 13th October 2017 and are on tour, supporting New Found Glory (see our interview here) around the UK, throughout September and October.

I love this track and can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!


‘Playing Fiction’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/playing-fiction/id1270970229?i=1270970535



Neck Deep – ‘In Bloom’

Neck Deep just released their latest record,¬†The Peace And The Panic, from which the most recent single is¬†‘In Bloom’. The single is a real belter and is packed full of emotion. The track begins with a “news clip” about an atomic bomb having been dropped 48 hours ago – sometimes these voiceover intros can be quite cringeworthy, but this one truly sets the tone of the track beautifully.

This is a song that is everything I love about an emotive pop punk track – it’s got passionate, powerful vocals, a great rhythm to the guitar and great lyrics. This track has got me very excited to check out the rest of the album!


‘In Bloom’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/in-bloom/id1238959632?i=1238959762


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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