ROMP – ‘Departure From Venus’

Posted: by Mitch

“It feels like we’re going back. I don’t mind- alright with that. It feels like we’re going backwards,” wails Madison Klarer as drums and bass boom and build behind her. Simultaneously, pick-scratching guitars create a shrieking ambience of suspense as ROMP’s debut LP, Departure From Venus takes off in full force with the song “Backfire.” 

The indie-pop/ punk outfit, hailing from New Brunswick, NJ, is no stranger to emotive and powerful tunes as their previous release – an EP titled Sorry, Not Sorry – was filled with them. Having shared show bills with such acts as PWR BTTM, Cayetana, Mitski, and the Screaming Females, ROMP has been en route to greatness for a long, long time. The premiere of their first full-length album, which is set to be released March 3rd on Bad Timing Records, will undoubtedly secure their place in the new wave of indie/punk bands that seem to be taking the music scene by storm. 

Departure From Venus, while dynamic and jaunty, is consistently driving and keeps energy levels high. Songs like “Naner Manor” and “Get Off The Scale” hold true to pop-punk fashion and exemplify the syncopated rhythms that are found throughout the genre. Songs like title track “Departure From Venus” and “Come Undone” are filled with catchy guitar riffs and solos by Lucas Dalakian, and melodious, repetitive lyrics by Klarer that give the record a real poppy aura. 

While it seems the instrumentation on Departure is geared less towards Klarer’s keyboard licks than on Sorry, there is more of a focus on the front woman’s vocal range and depth of song writing. Similarly to ROMP’s previous release, Departure’s lyrical content is geared towards love, loss, and moving on, and to me the lyrics of “Avoiding Boys” epitomizes the band’s growing confidence, both in love and in the production of their music- “I don’t care what you might say, this is gonna be a great fucking day.” 

Go ahead and preorder the new album on ROMP’s bandcamp and check out the singles they’ve released through Stereogum and Impose Magazine. One listen and I guarantee you’ll utter what we’ve all been chanting since their inception, “ROMP is tight.” 

Favorite song: Last Year 

Rating: 7.5/10