by Philip Moss
Formed four years ago in a living room in Beverley, before finding a practice space on the third floor of an old department store – between a bank and a Tesco Express – in the nearby city of Hull, bdrmm’s story is not dissimilar to that of millions of other groups that have come together around the world. But it’s one that’s hugely important to the Yorkshire based five piece’s debut album – the must hear, Bedroom.
Although the brainchild of frontman and songwriter, Ryan Smith, bdrmm are a throwback in that they have that ‘us against the world’ feel about them. Joined by his brother, Jordan, on bass – whose abrasive, monochromatic record sleeve totally sums up the bdrmm sound. They’re a community project – and, in 2020, they’ve never been more needed.
Hugely relatable, Bedroom has emotional issues at its core. ‘I shouldn’t have told you that I was ready before I knew was / it’s not that I didn’t try to keep our shit together / this whole ordeal just took over,’ Smith sings on standout track, Gush – positioning himself as a writer who understands these bleak, unpredictable times. It is an album that’s full of heart. And though the band may bury Smith’s words under probing drums and swathes of reverb, there’s an ‘everyman’ feel about him that makes bdrmm feel particularly special.
Bedroom is a debut that’s packed with a barrage of exciting influences that could fill the Humber. Instrumental opener, Momo, has all the wailing refineries one would associate with a Will Sergeant. (The Silence) recalls Microcastle-era Deerhunter, Is That What You Wanted to Hear? has all the patient knowing of The Horrors’ Primary Colours, while the soundscapes that underpin Smith on Gush could be mistaken for The Cure’s Disintegration. But the five piece don’t regurgitate their favourite records – instead, they refine them into a sound that, although ‘classic’, is their own. A stellar debut from the Yorkshire five piece.
Secret Meeting score: 77
If you’d like to support us by subscribing to our zine, click here – it’s just £6 a year for four copies (inc p&p).