Philadelphia’s power pop foursome Mike Bell & The Movies – the not-so-long-lost brothers of indie rockers Modern Baseball – have done it again. Their new album ‘Room’ opens with ‘The Unwanted Dead’ featuring a remarkably nostalgic feel that comfortably lingers throughout. Likewise, this track has an outstanding foot-tapping inducement and a set of poetic lyrics that could easily blow your mind in many senses, for example, “You are an astronomical miscalculation of thoughts.” What a start.
‘F*cked If You Do’ offers an enticing sound mimicking every great stereotype of the genre. The clear, crisp vocals; the fun, prominent riffs; the rising tempos. However, Mike Bell & The Movies have put their own stamp on the chorus by inserting a fluctuating pitch with an interesting parallel with the narrative component of the lyrics. This song, along with the majority of The Movies’ discography, is the perfect soundtrack to a sunlit drive with your pals on a warm afternoon.
‘Nothing Works’ is about admitting defeat, a theme that shows a progression from girl problems and sentimental wistfulness. ‘The Shining Loop’ or, as the guys have admitted to calling it, ‘Banana Banana Banana Banana’ (you’ll get it when you hear it) has an alternating tempo and a super catchy repetitive chorus, the foolproof choice for a shameless dance around the living room. ’The Cedar Point Interview’ has a very interesting intro with tones of pop punk and rock and roll; this and ’You’re The Brains of the Organization’ most closely fit their mission statement, “power pop through the lens of pop punk.”
‘Philadelphia Girls (Winter Edition)’ is a slightly slower number that shows another side to frontman Mike Bell’s vocal ability, reassuring listeners that Mike Bell & The Movies are definitely a name to watch out for. This song ends the album with a calmer, deeper sensation that somehow awakens memories of a sense of youth, new discoveries and moving on, which could make a blissful soundtrack to a nostalgic road trip.
‘Room’ can only be described as great music and that this album will delightfully compliment a happy occasion. It proves to be a compilation of tracks reminiscent of coming-of-age, summer barbeques and the feeling of freedom that you may just find it surprisingly refreshing.
’Room’ by Mike Bell & The Movies is released on 1st April on Lame-O Records.
Words by Lucy Jones (@loo_say9)