Great Heights & Nosedives
WHAT'S DIFFERENT: The difference between this album and 2016’s full-length debut, Backbone, is simply a coat of extra polish. Recording in Los Angeles with Kyle Black at the helm, this U.K. quintet now offer the sort of explosive crunch that would slot perfectly in between Black’s former clients, New Found Glory, and peppy pop paragons Paramore.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: By its nature, pop punk works with a limited template. The chord progressions, the stop-start rhythms and the keening vocals are largely givens. That makes more indefinable qualities crucial, foremost among them effervescence. Do ROAM’s songs still have an urgency, a lift that gets you out of your seat, despite the familiarity? On most of Great Heights, the answer is yes: This set is back-loaded with a clutch of earnest anthems (“Open Water,” “Scatterbrained,” “Flatline”) all of which soar—and take your heart with them.
OUR PICK: “Open Water”
Hopeless Records http://hopelessrecords.com