2020 – Pop / Rock
The British band’s debut does not show a visionary feeling concerned with innovating, but rather a great desire to tell a story in their own way.
Do you know when we have such complex feelings inside us and we never find words good enough to describe them and we decide to choose simple and short words that carry true meanings? Yeah, that’s how bdrmm built their debut album. There is a strangely deep intimacy in Bedroom. It is short lyrics with narrow and dry lines that mix with the instrumental Classic Rock that scream and explode in electric guitars and violent drums that build this album. Even though the album doesn’t sound terribly revolutionary and doesn’t have lyrics that are great pieces of literature, everything here sounds extremely energizing, inspiring, intimate and sentimental. Bedroom‘s secret is not in its explanation but in the unique experience it brings to those who hear it.
Throughout Bedroom, the band seems to tell a single story, however, each track here seems to carry a piece of this painful and internal struggle. In the second track, “Push / Pull”, which already starts in an intense and violent way, Smith sings with his vocals in a natural way: “First time, one night / Three words: ‘I want you’ / How can I fee / So much for no one?”; and gets lost when he validates his effort in the chorus: “I tried so hard”, he says. Even though the instrument doesn’t go far beyond classic elements that instantly contemplate Classic Rock, the entire track seems something without errors and totally right. In “A Reason to Celebrate”, the decline of this novel continues in an even more impressive way. Although in the beginning Smith’s voice seems a little lost in the midst of guitars and drums, when he arrives at his epiphany, in the chorus, everything becomes clearer and his voice gains a strangely natural power. “Well it’s okay / For you to walk away,” he says. However, when he finishes speaking his feeling of closure, everything falls into an instrument even stronger, even more violent and even more intense. It is one of those things that you will not understand entirely, but you will feel intensely.
Without a doubt, the brightest element ends up being the entire sound part of the album. In an interview with NME, when asked if music was important to reflect the inner struggle, Ryan Smith, lead vocalist, said, “Yes definitely […] So as much as put the words across we really wanted to focus on capturing that in the musical element as well”. They didn’t just want to tell us about their pain, longing and struggle, but also, to us feel together with them. One of the most memorable moments of this is at the end of the album, when the incredible “Forget the Credits” arrives as the last track of their debut. In the first few seconds we heard what appears to be a battery rehearsal that automatically takes us to the studio — it’s almost as if we were there when they recorded it, a totally unique sensation. Without running, the track starts to grow around itself: dreamy guitars appear and synthesizers appear almost imperceptibly giving a final touch to the whole atmosphere that makes the listener hover by an unknown, dense and deep air. With a distant voice that at times seems to come out of our head, he asks: “If you know / What I’ve done / Would you still / Forget?”. The most amazing thing is how everything seems strangely bigger than it really is: the lyrics look like complicated literature, the instrumental looks like a piece works through millions of layers and the vocals seem almost non-human. When you realize that everything is very simple, you are surprised.
Bedroom‘s instrumental tracks work as solo units that perform in an incredible way, but also sound like part of an even bigger attitude. The first track on the album, “Momo”, has an amazing energy. It plays with guitars and drums in a relatively usual way and, at times, it even looks like the vocals were extracted from the track. However, this is its charm: it is a reinterpretation of Classic Rock that is performed in the most predictable way possible, however, in the most charming way too. As much as “(The Silence)” presents extremely low vocals that seem like spirits talking to you in your dreams, the whole sound part works as a religious experience. Finally, “(Un)Happy” is built by the same instruments, however, it is scary. Throughout its execution it sounds like a ghost from the past that haunts you, but in the end, it gains a more emblematic air when it becomes a kind of wind remix that makes noise when passing through windows of an old haunted house. These songs are simple, but they are experiences that every time you listen you will be surprised.
Of course, during the album you will find tracks that will not entirely please you. “Happy” has a different aesthetic, it seems lower and much more alternative than all the other tracks, however, unfortunately, this makes the track seem more boring, monotone and neutral compared to the others. As much as “Gush” presents one of the best worked lyrics on the album, in which we see Smith trying to remedy and fix his relationship (“To right what I did wrong”), in the end the track doesn’t seem as memorable and intense. Fortunately, these are the only neutral moments in Bedroom. In the end, “If…” has one of the most impressive evolution: in the beginning, a solo guitar performs solitary and occasional notes before everything explodes in a huge and violent classical rock instrumental complexity. In the end, “Is That What You Wanted To Hear?” appears a little more in the attack when Ryan sings: “Fine, you win / I never felt / What you felt / Is that what you wanted to hear?”, however, he does not sound explosive, but rather disappointed. Again, like the whole album, this is not a track that you should spend time understanding, but feeling.
CHECK OUT Bedroom ON BANDCAMP