Room Full of Strangers‘ sound owes a lot to Smashing Pumpkins. Singer Mick “Dagger” McIuan growls, roars and hollers like a slightly less nasal, young Billy Corgan. The guitarists (who go by pseudonyms, in true rock fashion) adhere to the subdued verse/megadistorted chorus/shrieking guitar solo formula of rock music that Corgan and co. thrived off for years. But that’s not all there is to their sound.
Whether directly channeling grunge (“Part of Me,” “FTLO”), stomping through ’80s arena-rock (“The Night Could Never End”), or blasting out rebel-minded punk rock (“American Dream”), these guys rock with attitude to spare. The band really lets it ride on “American Dream,” churning out a fist-pumping, holler-along anthem with a four-on-the floor drumbeat and charging attitude.
You don’t always have to innovate to be great. Room Full of Strangers don’t do anything that hasn’t been done before. But it’s exciting, fun and passionate; what more do you want in a rock band? Oh, you want political awareness and band members in ski masks? RFOS has those too. Get on it, suckers.