ROMP - Departure From Venus (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Departure From Venus (2016)

Bad Timing Records

ROMP's Sorry, Not Sorry was one of 2015's most under-the-radar EPs. Vocalist/keyboardist Madison Klarer and guitarist Lucas Dalakian met on Tinder in 2014 and while they didn't find true love, they found a way to make music together, which made the aforementioned EP that much more interesting. It felt like commentary on relationships in a poppy/breezy indie manner, which for some fucked up reason jumped back into my mind while watching Master of None recently. Oddly enough, the latter's addressed on Departure From Venus, which finds ROMP cutting loose much more but still with a melodic disposition.  The guitars, though, are much more expansive and everything off the EP's toned up and given free rein. 

They're a breath of fresh air if you haven't heard them before and more so, if you're into bands like Screaming Females, Makthervaskan and Slingshot Dakota. They really do feel like a jacked up Slingshot Dakota to be quite honest.. "Backfire" and the self-titled track have this shimmery, infectious tinge to them -- very singalong but with a lot of indie-pop spunk, staying true to the EP. When they get more aggressive ("Get Off The Scale") then there's a whole new dimension brought forth which further highlights how their lyrics feel like a couple arguing with each other as each person gets their say, kinda like an MTV Real World confessional. Their sound's much more brutally honest this time around, but with an anthemic sensibility. They rack up even more catchy choruses, pickier jams and overall, I'd say the band definitely set about refining something for college radio. But nonetheless, they touch on issues that speak to a lot of young adults and that in itself is a major draw. "Come Undone" is another song that shadows so much of the shit we go through on a daily basis but what makes it shine a bit more is its eclectic nature a la Joe Reinhart's Algernon Cadwallader days. Adding to this, each song carves out its own identity and fuels the many characters emerging on the album. As "Yapshutter" closes things off, you're reminded that they can play the punk game as well as ROMP give you another reason why you should be diving in asap.