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Album Review // ROAM ‘Great Heights & Nosedives’

English pop-punk rockers return with a blasting second album Great Heights & Nosedives.

One year since the release of their debut full-length, Backbone, and ROAM radiate confidence as they deliver their sophomore effort, Great Heights & Nosedives.

The record shines with exuberant production and more rounded version of pop punk spectre. Reflecting on past year, ROAM capture their experiences as a band within 11 masterfully shaped tracks. And by doing so, they leave us with a positive note that no matter how much shit life is gonna throw at you, it is important to keep your head up and just move through it. As they say: “In general, life is all about highs & lows but it’s the way we deal with them that defines us.”

The absolute pop punk banger, Alive opens the record, revealing the band’s ballsy spirit of fearless guitars and resilient percussion. Delivering straightforward message at the very start, they’re telling you that they’ve been there and they’ve made it out alive. So can you.

Jumping straight into the galloping guitars of Life For Dead, ROAM continue with rolling rhythmics of their signature catchy choruses. Taking it down a notch for a brief bridge moment, they play with a melody a little bit creating a more vibrant soundscape.

Great Heights & Nosedives balances on the verge of hard-hitting and melodic, with a great dose of pop sensibility they incorporate so well. Whilst Guilty Melody evokes a playful infectious beat before it erupts into a punchy chorus and in-your-face lyrics, Curtain Call is the closest they get to the ballad-esque sonics. With an acoustic guitar and heart-wrenching theme, the track transitions into a marvel of sounds as Alex Costello uses his honest vocals to lead the emotional charge. Masterfully rounded till the last note, it surely is one of the stand out moments on the entire compilation.

The same goes to Playing Fiction, the first single of the record, which is an excellent piece of work. Tangible in composition and lyrically relatable, the tune injects a blistering spark that doesn’t go down easily. It also proves ROAM on top of the game as they craft a quintessence of pop-punk.

The Rich Life Of A Poor Man brings forth arena-size elements with its fast-paced and singalong chorus, the tendency that reoccurs on the album. Despite repeating some sequences on the instrumental level ROAM never make it fall flat or just boring. While The World Keeps Spinning is a total explosion of racing tempo variations with a reflective tone as they take a wider look at life in general. Another magnifying tune, Flatline that once more encompasses their way of telling you to just embrace every moment of life.

The pensive Home rounds it all off as it mirrors ROAM‘s recent time on the road. Leaving us with a nostalgic accent the guys join voices for the closing chant that they “still belong home”, and frankly that sums up their sophomore just about right.

Delving into topics of fears and doubts that youth brings along, ROAM manage to add a brighter tone to life, giving us a record of pure blast and valuable experiences. Better or worse day, Great Heights & Nosedives will serve as the right soundtrack, no doubt about that.