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Winnifred EP

(Slumberland; US: 6 Mar 2012; UK: 6 Mar 2012)

The four songs that comprise Winnifred, the new 7-inch from Roommates, were originally recorded in two sessions and released in limited cassette runs. Thankfully for those of us that missed out, Slumberland has collected these four excellent songs together. These power-pop gems from Ben Cook (from Fucked Up) and Mark Fosco may be lo-fi, but the fidelity is incidental to the power of these snarling guitars and driving drums, of how those bristling sounds mesh with sweet vocal harmonies on “Back to the Sun” or turn into jangling space on “Girlfriend Swap”. “Kelly I’m Not a Creep” starts off the second side with a sunburst of pop that peels back the speed of early songs in favor of sweet Brit-pop hooks, while “1st Floor Blues” twangs that sound up into a strange yet brash closer. This is all to say that, in under 10 minutes, Roommates impresses with plainly catchy, energetic songs, no two of which sound alike. If, when you first hear these guys, they sound like another punky, garage group banging out hissy tunes, listen again—because they’ve got quite a leg up on the rest of those tape-reel rockers.


Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.

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