DC’s post-punk trio The Dead Women have changed their name to Rom, and released a new record called Soda Christ. Recorded and mixed by Chris Freeland at Beat Babies in Woodstock, MD, Soda Christ has been anticipated by fans since a teaser demo EP was released earlier in the year. This is Rom's first full length, and second official release, following 2013’s Vier EP (as The Dead Women). Vier was a promising 4 song collection of tight post-punk, and Soda Christ delivers fully on that promise, and then some.
The album is tight and catchy from start to finish, sounds gorgeous, and will please both fans that have enjoyed their live shows, and interest new listeners. The sound owes a lot to bands like Joy Division and Wire, and Mark McInerney’s buttery smooth vocal melodies fall somewhere between Ian Curtis and Morrissey. This is not at all to say that the band is a one trick pony. Rom covers a lot of sonic ground on the album. The guitar tones are varied, rich and sweet, and Sean McCauley’s bass, and Mark Pry’s drums form foundations that range from melodic and dancey, compelling one to jiggle and sway, to simmering intesity. The band isn’t afraid to stray frequently from their more obvious influences, and do so without a hiccup, making fuzzy twee indie-pop on Micro, crispy pop-punk on Name, and anthemic (yet mellow) 90’s flavored indie-rock on Old Bull Lee (for which they are joined on vocals by Jenn Wasner, of Wye Oak--who also appears on opening track Jerry Princess Taste).
Soda Christ is solid, full of single-worthy tracks from start to finish. It's a fantastic opening statement for a skillful new band comfortably embracing a style (and name). Look for shows from Rom this summer and fall, and check out some of the new tracks below. --Natan Press