By Sydney Shaw
When Madison Klarer sings “This is gonna be a great fucking day” in her resolute voice, you’d better believe her.
ROMP rocked The Stanhope House in Stanhope, N.J., on Friday, May 27, opening its set with the pump-up anthem “Avoiding Boys” from the band’s latest record, “Departure From Venus.”
“The end is so near, it’s almost time to let go / Summer’s finally here, this’ll be over in a blink,” Klarer sang — an appropriate choice for an evening that peaked at 87 degrees.
Formed in New Brunswick. N.J., ROMP has quickly come up through the ranks in the punk rock scene over the past year, opening for bands like Screaming Females, Pinegrove and now Cayetana. They tout a no-nonsense sound reminiscent of Makthaverskan and Girlpool. On Friday, the group played all new tracks from “Departure from Venus,” excluding “Portrait” from last year’s EP, “Sorry, Not Sorry.”
On “Portrait,” Klarer reflects on a relationship after a breakup. The song is lighter and more wistful than the band’s usual lo-fi, fuzzy punk rock sound. Klarer wields her powerful voice with delicate precision until the song’s emotional climax: “I don’t want to be anyone’s anything anymore.”
Thanks to guitarist Lucas Dalakian and drummer Mike Linardi, “Yapshutter” begins with a burst of energy that doesn’t subside until the very end. Chris Beninato throws in a fun bass riff near the beginning of the track and provides a rumbling foundation throughout the rest of it.
“If you knew what I was / If you knew how I felt / We could have glued it all back together again,” Klarer sings. The words are twinged with nostalgia, but ROMP delivers the song with intense buoyancy.
With its sophomore release, ROMP succeeds in packing heavy punches with these simple yet poignant lyrics and its spunky sound. During the finale “Come Undone,” Klarer jammed on her keyboard and belted out the passionate chorus (“I punished myself hoping you’d notice me”). She ripped through her entire set in a similar fashion, exuding an effortless kind of cool.
According to Klarer, ROMP hopes to keep touring in the summer and fall. Fortunately, “Departure From Venus” is edgy enough to get everyone by until the band’s next gig.