My introduction to PRIVATE ROOM was watching them open for DREAMDECAY and Pig Heart Transplant at Blackwater Bar here in Portland last year. I wouldn’t have guessed they were a brand new band because of how established their sound was (most of the members are from the band WALLS). They were one of the very few opening bands that year who completely blew me away. Now they finally have an LP out on Iron Lung Records as of October 13th, Forever And Ever. Fun fact: the striking album art for this was created by Justin Gallego of DREAMDECAY.
“The New Elite” launches right in with loud, fast, energetic hardcore punk rock. It hits you like a ton of bricks. The second half of the track goes without vocals, allowing you to drink in the hypnotic sound (it’s pretty dance-y, actually).
“First World Solutions” is perfect for the second track because it sounds similar to the first, but now you start to hear the ambient/noise elements that set them apart from other hardcore groups. It’s pounding, it’s fast, it’s fun.
“Life Com” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. That downward spiraling guitar riff is fucking perfect. Each layer of the song comes together in a whirlwind of soundscapes over Purcell’s ferocious shouts.
“Dance Music” is my favorite track because it’s reminiscent of their sound when I saw them live last year. It’s not unlike DREAMDECAY’s sound; in fact, this track perfectly encapsulates what that band would sound like with Purcell’s vocals and I can’t get enough of it. It feels so experimental.
“Good Behavior” picks up the pace once again, though not before letting “Dance Music” bleed into it a little. The hardcore and ambient elements intertwine in a more deliberate way here. It’s as though their sound is changing as we listen. These tracks are so well placed! We also get a reference to the album’s title at the end there, and it’s one of the album’s strongest components as far as emotional delivery.
“Failure Narrative” is a slower song, and rightly so for the subject matter. Lyrically, this one hits me the hardest. The way he says “fail” twice each time has an impact. The guitar solo at 1:23 is honestly one of my favorite parts of the entire album, it’s just beautiful. The track ends with an ominous tone
These last two tracks have more raw-sounding vocals during the verses, adding prominence to the lyrics. “Shining Moment” has more of a true hardcore sound and is definitely lyric-driven. The noise elements are subtle. The end of this song feels like the end of the album: “Curtain call / Take a bow / Shining moment / Lights out.”
If “Shining Moment” were the album’s end, “Desktop Stain” would easily be the encore, clocking in at over 4 minutes. It has the best lyrics on the album; it feels so honest. It has an intensely “bipolar” vibe at about the 2 minute mark as we swim from hardcore to this light, mysterious ambiance. It ends the album in such a natural way. You might want to put this one on loop.