I wish Double Dagger hadn't called it quits, but then again if they were still a band, the drummer, Danny Bowen, wouldn't have started Roomrunner. No it's not quite the noise spattering post hardcore we all came to know and love in his former band, but Roomrunner's new EPSuper Vague on Fan Death is just the kind of crunchy guitar rock we need to combat the auto-tuned disco pop world we now live in.
All four songs on this EP burst at the seams with chainsaw guitar buzz and manic rhythm from a bruised and beaten drum kit. You can hear lots of the shambling 90s indie rock in Roomrunner's all out six string attack, and I'd like to think that their home base in Baltimore's proximity to the fabled DC hardcore scene (yes I'm talking about DIschord) is there as a glaring influence as well. This is post punk, pre grunge guitar rock mayhem like I grew up on. I can imagine the band handing me a mixtape of their influences rather then answering some rote interview question, and that cassette would inevitably be filled with Dinosaur Jr, Yo La Tengo, Mudhoney, Green River, Shellac, Jesus Lizard and Fugazi songs.
But Super Vague is not simply reviving guitar rock (or "indie rock" as it used to be defined) since they try to take it a step further, e.g. loving the Coachwhips / Lightning Bolt noise mongering as much as those early Sub Pop 45s. Plus not enough bands are unpretentious with their aim to rock out--which is terrible because there are way too many indie bands that don't have unpolished edges anymore--and even fewer indie bands that don't have a synth, violin player or some other extra somewhat unnecessary musicians.
The EP and especially the title track is a fuzzy loud anthem of youthful angst, bursting at the seams with heavy riffs. I may have heard "Undo" before in some form or another, but I forgot who they're ripping off so it feels fresh and new to me anyway. "No Wait" and "Petrified" thrash you through the second side with more crunchy melodies, bruising churn and trebly waves of feedback. The EP gets rougher and sort of unwinds itself at the end, as if it was a miracle that these songs even came to be.
This explosive quality is what sucks me in the most about Roomrunner. They swallowed too many influences and might just choke, but in the process they spit out some great raw sounding distorto rock. Roomrunner makes me believe that some kids might still love rock n roll more than MTV pop drivel and that yes good ol' fashioned indie rock as I knew it might still have a chance.
Listen to the whole Super Vague EP below.
(And buy it digitally or as a 12 inch / tape / poster combo from Fan Death.)
and watch ROOMRUNNER live below........