wed 12/08/2020

Album: bdrmm - Bedroom | reviews, news & interviews

Album: bdrmm - Bedroom

Album: bdrmm - Bedroom

The shoegaze five-piece's journey of discovery ends with a hugely impressive debut

Shoegaze stable Sonic Cathedral has, in truth, always been a much broader church than its name implies. From the psychedelic, sunshine pop of Gulp, to the blistering art noise of Spectres, it has consistently released music that shares a similar heritage, without putting all its pedals on the same board.

Bedroom, the debut album from Leeds/Hull-based five-piece bdrmm, however, plays exquisitely to type. It channels the shoegaze sound with such purpose and resolve it’s hard to believe most of band weren’t born when My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless nearly crippled Creation.

Brimming with taught emotion right from the outset, brooding opener “Momo”, an instrumental portent of turmoil, segues seamlessly into “Push/Pull” which, as the name suggests, ebbs and flows with impressive dynamism.

“A Reason to Celebrate” (recently remixed by Ride guitarist Andy Bell under his Glok guise) harks back to a time when indie and dance first became fluid genres. There’s a wide-eyed innocence lurking behind a sheer curtain of distortion and a beat falling perfectly between the grooves.   

If one was to map out the influences on display, the result would be a landmass built on the foundations of MBV’s sonic distortions, Ride’s melodic understanding, the fragility of Pale Saints and, just off shore, a dark, looming presence denoted by nothing more than a simple phrase – Here Be Goths.

Speaking of which, there’s also a touch of the Cure’s pop nous on display as we progress to “Gush” and “Happy”. In the space of five songs bdrmm move from impressionistic soundscapes to beautifully crafted pop songs without missing a beat. This is no accident. “Bedroom” has the perfect pacing of a painstakingly programmed DJ set, each track setting up the next with exactly the launchpad it needs.

So, as the final crashing chord of “Happy” lands, we’re pitched into “The Silence”, an aural comedown before a mid-paced triptych of songs ending with “Is That What You Wanted to Hear?” Here, the album’s musical and emotional swell reaches its pinnacle, full of confidence and belligerent bravura, as frontman Ryan Smith sings: “Fine, you win/I never felt/What you felt/Is that what you wanted to hear?” The sense of release is palpable - urgent and real.

In navigating a route through the choppy waters of growing up and self-discovery to whatever lies beyond, bdrmm have crafted a hugely impressive debut - one you can really lose yourself in.  

@jahshabby

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