Drug Store Romeos are, like, too cool, man. The Fleet-formed, London-based trio take their name from Tennessee Williams’ iconic play A Streetcar Named Desire. They look like they’ve been dragged through a charity shop by their ankles. And with a sonic palette that references shoegaze, trip-hop and alt-rock, their universe is a mesmerising one. Akin to the childlike wonder of The Orielles or Let’s Eat Grandma, ‘The world within our bedrooms’ is a hazy haven to enjoy getting lost in as it expands on last year’s single ‘Frame Of Reference’, which introduced the young threesome as slightly unearthly music makers. ‘Building Song’ and ‘Secret Plan’ make for a fantastic start, flitting around between tempos as Sarah Downie’s vocal drifts like vapor over their jovial basslines. There’s an abundance of character in these songs, even if their themes aren’t explicitly obvious; on ‘Walking Talking Marathon’ Sarah seems to speak in tongues over a hypnotic click track. But there’s such a sense of playfulness imbued in the instrumentals that you get the gist anyway. It’s not often you hear softness conveyed through drums, as Johnny Gilbert does so deftly on ‘Electric Silence’. What could be very lacklustre, ambient sound is boosted by the very obvious artistic chemistry between the trio, who are completed by guitarist Charlie Henderson. Admittedly ‘…bedrooms’ becomes a little homogenised in its second half. ‘Frame Of Reference’ remains the highlight and everything that follows (save for ‘Adult Glamour’, the luxurious end cut) feels less engaging for it. But if the goal of a debut album is to introduce yourself to the world with a sound and a style that’s purely your own, the Romeos have done a pretty stellar job.
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