Separate was Recorded last fall in the band’s hometown of Baltimore with producer J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines). All four band members contributed to the writing process. The songs may surprise longtime fans as the quartet improves upon its hard-hitting, headbanging formula to make more complex and melody-charged music.
Singer-guitarist Denny Bowen-who wrote and recorded the first two Roomrunner releases himself, with the help of bandmate Dan Frome-allows his voice to be much more exposed on the Separate, showcasing his before-unheard versatility as a vocalist. Drummer Bret Lanahan worked with Bowen on the EP’s big vocal hooks and the dreamy harmony the record ends with. Lanahan’s ferocious drumming is bone-crushingly powerful throughout the record.
The songs come from a personal place, but also address time travel and density. “I used to use lyrics as a vehicle for sounding out weird combinations of words,” Bowen says. “Now it’s more of a way for actual release.” That’s most noticeable on the record’s beautiful closer, “Slow,” where Bowen sings about coming to term with disappointment: “And I’ll feel nothing, dreaming of no gravity, I want to float through the air.”
01. Ms. DNA
02. Chrono Trigger
03. ESPN Zone
05. Push Down & Turn