Review: ROMP, ‘Departure From Venus’
Written by Joel Funk
In the humdrum of late Winter, ROMP has released an album with all of the youthful energy of an early Spring. The brand of power-pop on ‘Departure From Venus’ isn’t reinventing the wheel by any means, but that doesn’t change the way I feel about this record. The record is bouncy and playful; coming across as an impressive debut without taking itself too seriously. It’s the kind of record that is bound to get you moving, and as James Shotwell wrote for Haulix, it’s an incredible cure for a case of the mondays.
‘Departure From Venus’ opens with “Backfire.” This song sounds like it could have been ripped from ‘Commit This To Memory’ without questions. The playfulness of the synth and the drive of the drums works so well in conjunction with the bite of [Madison] Klarer’s vocal delivery. ROMP has all of the makings of an incredible pop band, and the little bit of edge that Madison has in her voice is just the icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned.
Where this record shines the most is with “Get Off The Scale” and “Last Year.” The first of the two is a real change of pace for the record. “Get Off The Scale” is a hot-tempered “fuck you” to an ex. All of the energy and aggression of the song make for one of the most satisfying and catchy instances of cathartic release on the record. I dare you to tell me that you won’t be dancing around your room singing “I said I hate you/I hate you/I hate you” by the time you finish your second straight listen.
“Last Year” makes “Get Off The Scale” feel like more of an intermission than anything else, because we’re immediately back on track for ‘Departure From Venus’ being one of my favorite pop records of the year. The verses sound like they were ripped from 80’s night and put to better use. It was great as a single, but I think I love it more in context of the record.
There’s not much fault to the record. Some people may tell you that a song like “Avoiding Boys” may come as being too happy, but don’t let them sway you. The song is great, and if nothing else shows how well ROMP is able to work with the growing pains of a debut album. When you’re sole complaint is that lyrics like “I don’t care what they say/this is gonna be a great fucking day” managed to weasel their way into the release, it’s clear that you’re just looking for something to complain about.
‘Departure From Venus’ is a great debut record. It’s full of fun, high energy songs that are sure to serve as the pick-me-up we all need as we anxiously wait for Spring to rear its pretty head. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see a lot more from ROMP in the future, and I have a pretty good feeling that if they keep on the path they’ve made for themselves with this record, their ‘Commit This To Memory’ is right around the corner.