ALBUMS REVIEWS

ALBUM REVIEW: Drug Store Romeos – The world within our bedrooms

After a small hiccup with vinyl pressings, Hampshire trio Drug Store Romeos have finally released their highly anticipated, dreamy debut album The world within our bedrooms.

The trio have been growing their following, alongside features such as Line Of Best Fit’s ‘Song Of The Day’, The FADER’s ’15 New and Rising Bands You Should Listen to in 2021’, as well as multiple features in NMEDIYSo YoungGigwise etc. Despite their growing success and recognition, Drug Store Romeos have stayed relatively humble and perfectly consistent in their beautiful craft of bedroom-synth-pop from the days of their first gigs, to the release of their debut album The world within our bedrooms.

As the name of the album suggests, Drug Store Romeos have composed an album encapsulating a world of emotions, events, changes and realisations: “The album is a journey of emotions and colour schemes… We always wanted to create our own world, and as a three we have this force field around us.”

The Hampshire band had six singles out before the release of The world within our bedrooms with small glances into the world they wanted to create, but also, a world that they have been a part of in realistic and (borderline) synthetic ways. The three singles Frame Of ReferenceWhat’s On Your Mind and Secret Plan all follow a similar arrangement, but differ largely in their tonalities (and overall mood); Sarah explains how she “wanted to make a purple song so I turned off all lights apart from my colour changing bulb which made a magenta purple” – the result was their latest single, Secret Plan. This synaesthetic approach to song writing blends the realism of song writing and music with explorations of areas where they have been able to create a new world within their bedrooms.

Photo Credit: Erin Hambly

The world within our bedrooms initiates with a breezy arrangement of a twangy bass, evolving synth pads and leads, and a rigid, growing drum loop. Building Song is forever evolving and blended in a style that simply states Drug Store Romeos‘ style in a mellow, dreamy space for a solid introduction into the album. 

Production is the key to expression for Drug Store Romeos, a more playful, child-like world articulates itself through Walking Talking Marathon’s 8-bit drum machine and phase inverted vocals, creating a warped, new world exaggerated to the point you can hear Sarah’s smile over the line “a walk talking marathon”. This album is in no way emotionally cohesive, self-asserted by Drug Store Romeos themselves: “A lot of bands have a consistent emotion across their whole album but we wanted to reflect the ever changing nature of someone’s mental state over a period of time”. The beauty of this album is buried (almost subconsciously) into the differing temperature of Sarah’s vocals, or the depth and clarity of the drums and bass, with either taking precedent in each song and exaggerating the varying emotions from track to track.

However, synthesis is what keeps Drug Store Romeos pinned down into this dream-synth indie-pop genre. Bow Wow and No Placing keep an undercurrent of sincerity within these subtle synth pads. Despite being groovy and funky, these tracks are controlled by a synesthetic tone embedded in the synthesisers, defining the depth of longing, lusting and loving from a single, carefully crafted instrument.

Drug Store Romeos treat us to variants developed from their dream-pop foundation; Vibrate makes some crossovers to a punk-style stemming from the aggression of the drums, yet the same articulation is scattered across the album – Drug Store Romeos make full use of their instrumentation, and push it to the very corners of their imagination. 

Despite the trio’s infinite amount of imagination filling the instrumentation, Drug Store Romeo’s are as respectable, poetically. Bow Wow and Kites have a parallel pair of pure and delicate synths and vocals. Bow Wow“my heart rate increases” and Kites“I’m not interested if you’re not interested” both communicate a world of forever changing courting circumstances in Drug Store Romeos’ worlds.

Drug Store Romeos are perfectionists at creating a delicate, mellow, subtle and softly winding set of tracks, the album draws to a close in this manner with Put Me On The Finish Line, Cycle Of Life and Adult Glamour encapsulating the cold-comforting sound we have come to know as Drug Store Romeos in such a short space of time.

Drug Store Romeos The world within our bedrooms

Drug Store Romeos’ 2021 Tour Dates
29 July | SET, London (SOLD OUT)
2-5 September | End Of The Road Festival 
25-26 September | Dot to Dot Festival
9 October | Are You Listening? Festival
13 November | Stag & Dagger Festival, Glasgow 
14 November | Stag & Dagger Festival, Edinburgh 
17 November | Scala, London 

Follow Drug Store Romeos on Instagram, FacebookTwitterYouTubeSpotify, and Apple Music.

Featured Image: Neelam Khan Vela

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