Eastbourne's ROAM have managed to cram a surprising amount of experience and end product in their mere five year history as a band. Three EP's and a full length record as well as support slots on the Kerrang! Tour and playing the entirety of the infamous Warped Tour isn't bad going for a band still at the precipice of the mountain that will be their career.
New record Great Heights & Nosedives finds the band still in their infancy - with both positive and negative effects coming as a result. There are moments in the record where ROAM find themselves becoming a victim of the current day climate of pop punk - with a whole host of bands trying to move up a level in the hierarchy of well established bands in the genre in 2017.
The result of this is a number of bands staying in third gear in terms of creative output, and it can be somewhat detrimental to not just the band in question, but the genre too. ROAM do manage to avoid this for enough of a portion of Great Heights And Nose Dives though, and there's plenty here that quickens the heart rate.
As you would come to expect, there's a large emphasis on hook running throughout the record. The chorus of single 'Playing Fiction' is as addictive as it is pacing - and it's the kind of track that's set to be a staple of the bands repertoire going forward.
Elsewhere on the record tracks like the emotive, pulsing 'Curtain Call' bring a heap of empathy to the record, it's basic in the perfect way - nothing overly complicated, just textured verses building up to a banging chorus. 'While The World Keeps Spinning' brings an element of bounce too, and ROAM capatalise on their strengths here: youth, vibrancy, and nonchalance.
Sadly Great Heights & Nosedives doesn't hold much in its grasp in the sense of depth - and there's a sense of pop punk by numbers here with tracks like 'Left For Dead' and 'Guilty Melody' not too dissimilar to anything you've heard before. At their bands' young age, it seems that ROAM haven't yet achieved the ability to craft a record that avoids as much filler as possible.
ROAM are unfortunate to exist in a time where bands like State Champs, Neck Deep, The Story So Far, and Four Year Strong dominate their genre so strongly, as Great Heights & Nosedives doesn't quite get ROAM ready to swing punches with the big boys. With that said, what we have here is a good pop punk record with 3 or 4 bangers that are certain to give the band a stronger hold on their audience - and there's potential here for a phenomenal record someday.