Bdrmm is a five-piece shoegaze/dreampop outlet from Hull, UK. Originally starting out as a solo endeavor for frontman Ryan Smith, the band quickly filled and started jamming out tunes. Having released a series of singles dating back to 2018, we were all just waiting for a full-length and now enter, Bedroom.
Opening a record with an instrumental is always a hit or miss for some people. However, “Momo” is a hit. It’s repetitive guitar overlapped by atmospheric synth brings high energy right from the get-go. The song perfectly segue into the next, titled “Push / Pull”. The track definitely continues down the same path of atmospheric shoegaze, drawing early comparison to DIIV‘s “Mire (Grant’s song)” – edgy by nature and providing a longing sense of angst.
“A Reason to Celebrate” breaks through with a very alt-rock ’90’s vibe that immediately caught my attention. The uplifting chord progression drops out to only build back up in the chorus. The optimistic title came rather unintended: ‘Me and Jon just wanted the album to be done so we had a reason to go and have a couple of drinks,’ said Smith in an interview with Amazing Radio. Returning back to their more dreampop roots “Gush” opens with a memorable time signature drum beat. Despite how good the guitar tones were, the lyrics really stood out:
‘I shouldn’t have told you
That I was ready before I knew I was
It’s not that I didn’t try
To keep my shit together
This whole ordeal just took over’
Bedroom doesn’t shy away from instrumental or experimental songs as they take up the majority of the middle section. The intent is clearly trying to create an oasis of emotion and feeling. After the second instrumental “(Un)Happy” comes the tune “If….”. Most definitely the band’s loudest tune at times, I found it to really excel in that classic Pixies formula of quiet verses and then loud choruses.
Displaying a serene, peaceful, almost mantra-like verse combating with roaring loud guitar feedback in the chorus, “Is That What You Wanted To Hear” was a track that really grew on me after a couple listens through – providing that wall of sound that you really look for in a shoegaze record. “Forget the Credits” hands you the final statement. Led by the slow tempo and tiredness in the vocals, the track actually seemed very underwhelming and I’m not here to say it’s a bad song by any means, but just not the strongest of choice to end an otherwise strong record.
An overall compelling debut for the band, although at times failing to distinguish their sound from modern bands in their genre like DIIV and Beach Fossils. Despite the immense similarities, you can see that the band is heading in a direction that will be unique to Bdrmm themselves. Bedroom is a definite must-listen record for 2020 that leaves you waiting for their sophomore release whenever that may be.