Roomrunner – “Ideal Cities”

(Photo Credit: Stereogum)

Grade: A-

Key Tracks: “Bait Car,” “Wojtek”

The dream of the 90’s is alive in Baltimore. Roomrunner gleefully throw ode to some of the early 90’s grunge and noise rock bands. Nirvana is idolized through fast rhythms that let a punk influence bleed heavily through. Pavement is redrawn through heavy distortion that adds to the melodies and through the rough transitions between songs. Roomrunner never tries to be conventional. The opening track, “Bait Car” is an assault on time signatures that are sometimes impossible to decipher. “Wotjek” sounds like more of a poppy side to the band, until the chorus, featuring rhythms of pure feedback that are different on each passby. The finale, “Snac Error,” ends with a waving drone of guitar that takes up a good chunk of the track.

“Ideal Cities” is over in about a half hour, and it is one of the rare times where the short length of a punk album does not feel entirely fulfilling. The album wasn’t one idea stretched into a certain number of tracks, but a bunch of little experimentations that left me wanting more. This is hardly a criticism, as the band made an interesting record that sounds fresh but resembles the pre-grunge bands of yesteryear. It is melodic and noisy, all while maintaining a sense of fun. Pavement and the Pixies would be proud.

If you like this, try: “Living Dummy” by Pangea (2o12). More of a conventional (surf-)punk record, but there is a similarity between bands, I cannot emphasize enough my love for “Living Dummy”

-By Andrew McNally

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