REVIEW: Room 94 at Sound Control

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ROOM 94 have been on the alt rock scene for about ten years now and whilst their legion of adoring fan-girls is still growing, it’s sad to see them not progressing as quick as they should be.

They now have three Top-40 albums under their belt, an award for ‘Best International Act’ (Poland Young Stars 2015) and continue to freshen up their sound with each song they sculpt.

Yet, they’re still playing venues like Sound Control’s basement. It’s a great intimate setting, that does have its advantages, but they should be playing bigger and better by now. It seems that currently the band’s career has plateaued; something, somewhere, is not quite right, but that something is not at all clear when they absolutely conquered Manchester…again!

For The Girl were first to take the stage; before most of the audience had managed to get through the door, as they weren’t opened on time. Despite only half the audience being there, For The Girl were energetic performers and nailed a cover of Imagine Dragon’s ‘Radioactive’- with hilarious facial expressions too.

Their own songs are a slick blend of Indie and Pop-rock, giving them a sound to stand out in the scene. Incredibly catchy choruses abound; offering ample opportunity for everyone to get moshing by the end of their set. The final song ‘Where Did Time Go’ was their highlight track.

Shortly after them, Deadset Dream took the reins. Their hard Alt-rock music left most people wondering if they’d lost their hearing by the end, due to the ferocity of the music. They combined geeky dad dance moves with genuine talent, in their mix of original songs and a strong cover of Clean Bandit’s ‘Symphony’ that got people bouncing all around.

The main support for the show was Bronnie. Bronnie had a bronniesweet and innocent tone to her voice, which contrasted well the overall Pop-punk sound and ethos, presented in the songs ‘High School Sucks’ and ‘Screw You’. She certainly could have given Avril Lavigne a run for her money back in the noughties. Her on-stage presence radiated joy and it was clear why she got the opportunity to open for Little Mix not long ago.

Around half nine Room 94 took over and as always they made quite the entrance. A mixture of electronic sounds (similar to retro arcade games) and the Rick and Morty theme tune, set the atmosphere as they came onstage. They opened the set with ‘You’re Not Alone’ followed by their classic ‘Tonight’, both of which were well received.

It’s clear how passionate the Hertfordshire quartet are about playing their music, from the start to the finish they were beaming like Cheshire cats. They have an undeniable chemistry, generally taking the form of teasing each other and reflecting on previous banter between songs. Their stage performance could be improved if Kieran Lemon (vocals) didn’t keep his eyes shut when he sings, though, as it isn’t very intimate.

It was marvelous to here some of the songs off their latest EP, ‘Fire’. ‘Electric’ and ‘Burnin Me Out’ follow on from the aggressive change that ‘Lost Youth’ had, but it’s intricately placed between a more electro-pop approach to the new tracks; all that does it make the heavier parts hit with vehemence. It also shows off Dean Lemon’s (drums and vocals) voice more than their old songs have done, which seemed to please the audience.

A mixture of ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘Chasing The Summer’, ‘2am’ and ‘Do You Feel Alive’ built the rest of the setlist and a happy 18th birthday song to a girl at the front from the band. Sean Lemon (Guitar and vocals) has some problems with his guitar which kept producing sounds similar to that of a possessed maniac in horror films, but that didn’t spoil anything and gave the band another chance to persuade everyone to buy merchandise so he can buy a new guitar.

Room 94 never seem to disappoint live and have been successful, whilst remaining charmingly immature and humble. However, their next release needs to do better than their previous albums or this could be the start of their downfall, if clear progression doesn’t happen soon.

80%
80%
Ace!
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