Haverhill, Massachusetts psych-rock outfit the the new highway hymnal released their sophomore album reverb room LP , and it’s a record that fully lives up to its name. The nine-track disc rolls out high energy, warm guitar pop chords that dip into fun loving surf rock and frequently fuzzes into shoegaze territory.
Album opener “Loaded Fun” sounds like an homage to early 2000’s Brit-pop, rather like a more lo-fi imatation of the Libertines’ Up the Bracket. Single “Television” hits you hard with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-esque guitar and melodically harmonised “oooo”s and “yeahhhh”s, while the disc’s second cut, “By the Pool,” is a direct homage to ’60s beach infatuated pop bands, filtered through contemporary garage rock.
The lyrics aren’t afraid to get literal either, with vocalist Hadden Stemp encouraging you to “come on over,” “catch a wave” and “jump in with me.”
“Isolation” balances out the low-end creep and feedback excursions with soothing coed vocals; “Ghosts,” true to its title, swirls in whirlwinds of guitar and vocals that sound like they’re being broadcast from the next room, or maybe the next plane of existence. Throughout it all there’s a steady sense of groove that grounds things in the corporeal, even as noisy entropy takes its toll on the tunefulness as the album progresses and the songs expand in length.