I didn’t know Room 94. When I looked at their pictures I thought they were some kind of young punk rockers. This impression was reinforced by the picture of the cover of their last album, in which they seem to pay homage to the Ramones.; B/W, ripped skinny jeans and a wall of bricks behind them. The only difference with the cult photo on the cover of the Ramones’ first album is that these guys don’t look into the camera. And of course that they are NOT the Ramones. They say they are inspired by Blink 182, among others. But they sound more similar to the average pop act on the radio. There’s not a trace of punk in their music, especially if we mean the “punk” state of mind, even though the first track might sound punky. This was disappointing, at least to me.
In this sophomore eponymous album, the four twenty-something from Hertfordshire sing about girls, girls, girls. Having fun, being broken hearted, dreaming of doing nasty things. The only variety is in the genres they play. They range from rock (So What, a careless hymn to being themselves) to spoken word rap (X’s, in which there’s a breakout rock chorus alternated with a rap verse), there’s even some beatboxing (Gimme the Night). Most of the other tracks are an effervescent blast of catchy pop-rock. Some tunes at times might get particularly angry (I am thinking, for example, about the screamed part of Poison) and there even are some ballads (Your Song, in which the narrator whispers “I will always be yours”). As in their previous album, No strings attached, there are a few party items as well – Party Anthem is the most obvious example.
This album seems meant to help its listeners have a good time. Just like their debut. No song really stands out and the chorus of cheeky Dirty Dancing even reminds me of Jojo’s hit, Leave (Get Out). Without any doubt, the producer did a good job, filling the tracks with lots of sound effects. But there is no ambition in this record. Isn’t the music industry already filled with forgettable and mediocre pop tunes?