Yeah Roomrunner are doomed to the Nirvana comparisons to come... and they will (and have) come, but if the explosive grunge crunch tempered by a perfectly candied pop center fits, then what the hell. Sometimes you gotta just embrace it. Fondness for the Sub Pop and Matador back catalogs aside, the Baltimore gang have more than just the past in their veins here, they're fully embracing the scrappy energy of their hometown scene and funneling it through a sixty ton wall of rock pummel. Twitchy and rambunctious, Ideal Cities runs to the back of the bus, carves its initials in the seat leather and jumps out the emergency door winking all the way. The record feels cathartic and ear shaking in the way that records sounded at fifteen, when a handful of songs and a Walkman could change your life, even if no one else knew it. The thing is, Roomrunner seem to know it; they're right there with you shaking the shackles and squeaking the strings. Damn well they should be pros, Denny Bowen's been roughing up the edges for years in Double Dagger and his former band’s enigmatic spirit lives on with him here. Roomrunner aren't rewriting the book on grunge but they're adding a decent new chapter in the tome that feels like it always belonged.


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posted by dissensous at 9:32:00 AM


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