Epic alternative rock channelling post-rock anthems.
Wide Room’s debut album places them out on the map of alt-rock as a thinkers rock band. With a heavy concept album around how the forces of the Hadron collider smashing particles together is similar to how our forces between each other are in life. It’s a heady concept that Wide Room does their best to crack. Ultimately, what most impressed me was their ability to create songs that tell a musical story.
What I mean by that is that most of the tracks on ‘Hadron’ are between six and nine minutes and have multiple movements in them. The title track for example starts off with brooding alt-rock choruses before evoking a Muse-like chorus then something more Alt-J =-esque for their bridge. Then as the song concludes, you have something more akin to a post-rock of cinematic electronica album as the guitars rumble in and out. Wide Room has really thought out how the album moves. Tracks feature intros and outros and some short transitional businesses.
There is more in common structurally with post-rock at times than with the usual alt-rock song structure but Wide Room keep things alternative throughout. ‘Unengaged’ has riff after riff hardwired into its DNA as the big drum rolls back up cinematic solos. ‘Ashes’ is possibly my favourite track as it channels a splash of emo drama into its heavy percussive riffs. Often guitars take centre stage in a rock album but the machine arms of Marco really adds a dynamic explosive element to the drums. Micha’s vocals are absolutely pivotal to the album too as he has a huge range. From screaming doom to the quietest of falsetto whimpers, there’s a real range here. Fans of dramatic alt-rockers like Tool and Soundgarden will feel right at home.
Outside of the usual rock styles, towards the end, the album moves into a more prog-rock/ethereal style. ‘Afterglow’ is a short piece of handpan drums and ‘Innerverse’ has more in common with Scandinavian folk-rock at times. There is also a stunning acoustic edition of ‘Hadron’ which showcases how it is not clever production that makes the songs pop, it is deft songwriting and expert performance. It also shows just how versatile the Swiss rockers are.
Easily one of my favourite rock albums of 2021, Warm Room announces themselves with a stunning album. Full of big hooks, catchy melodies, huge emotions and thunderous drums, it’s one of those albums you can enjoy like a feature-length movie. Different songs feel like different scenes and at 77 minutes, it is an epic album that never gets stale. Superb.
Recommended track: Hadron
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