The Bedroom Hour are a number one of those bands that have been on my radar for a couple of years now due to all the blogging I was exposed to in my band, but have never quite got round to listening to. They certainly have quite a number of dedicated fans on twitter, and so now comes my turn to pass judgement on them
Its strange how you (or maybe its just me) associated a dedicated following to a band being a bunch of young, attractive guys. So when the vocals to The Bedroom Hour kicked in, I was rather surprised to hear that they weren’t the early 20 somethings writing rock music I expected them to be. Instead, I hear later 20 somethings writing music that harks back to 80s alternative music similar to U2 or Simple Minds (and they are still attractive, don’t worry). Was I disappointed? Was I relieved? Well, it was a bit of both. I’m tired of all these young rock bands playing the same music in a slightly different way at the moment, but at the same time, I am CERTAINLY not the biggest fan of this era of music. My judgement so far: undecided.
According to all their social media, this is a DIY record, so hats off to them. Its got a lot of layers (including your bog standard guitar and bass, plus synths and strings), it sounds decent enough, and the songs vary in style. It ticks a lot of boxes I want to be ticked. Also, fans of this kind of alternative music will be glad to hear that it stays very true to the sound you would expect. I hear a bit of Bono in every song. I hear genre defining synths and strings in almost every song. The choruses are big, and there are plenty of anthems in here. This is easy listening personified. Fans who sing and hum along to every song will be in raptures at this music.
So why am I left disappointed?
This is a tough one for me because I have never been a fan of bands like Joy Division or Simple Minds. In fact one of my favourite songs by ex-band Reuben contains the line “All this 80s Indie, it sounds like shit to me, ‘cos I don’t like Joy Division, I don’t like Morrissey”, and when I heard that, I made an audible ‘YES!’ and nodded my head. So no matter what this band sounded like, I would hold something against them.
But that’s not fair. I can’t write a negative review of a band if they sound like the genre that influences them. That’s my fault, not theirs. So my job is to be objective about the genre, and subjective about the music (I can do that).
The verses, the choruses, the singing, the guitars, the bridges – they are all great. It sounds professional and would easily sit alongside the bands that they undoubtedly love. But it does only sit alongside them. There is nothing exceptional about their songs; but this as always is the hardest and most subjective thing to achieve. How do you write music that stands out? I don’t know exactly…but you know when you hear it.
This music does not wow me, nor are there any parts that make me stop and think that ‘that was great!’ It’s not bad – its good! … But it’s not out of the ordinary. The Bedroom Hour will sit in your record collection nicely. If you slip them into a playlist of the same genre, people won’t bat an eye lid and will keep dancing away. But this is not the music of the future. This isn’t breakthrough music. And honestly, I wouldn’t expect that from bands who copy a formula that has already worked. You are guaranteed moderate success copying successful bands like Joy Division and Doves – there is a market for that – but you will never be the band on everyone’s lips sadly. Fair enough, being the biggest band in the World isn’t everyone’s top priority, but as a listener and especially as a blogger, I *do* want to hear something special and exciting; and sadly, this isn’t it.
Like the band on Facebook here: