Portland rock band Serious Rooms releases their debut album.
When songwriter Sam Anderson read Jack Kerouac’s On The Road for the second time in his life, a phrase from the first chapter caught his eye: “serious room.” It sounded like a band name to Anderson — and today, Portland-based rock group Serious Rooms is over a year old and going strong.
Their debut is Random Universe, released by local label Cornmeal Records in August. The album’s eleven songs play like a blend of Britain’s pop-rock superstars like The Beatles and The Kinks. The band’s instrumentation is a particularly strong nod to its forbears. Anderson and guitarist Chris Plumstead make ample use of sitar and twelve-string guitar (à la The Beatles’ Revolver), with occasional backup from drummer John Nunan on The Mellotron, the 1960s tape replay keyboard that preceded the synthesizer. But don’t mistake them for a sixties tribute band: Their influences also include The Cars, Squeeze, and Big Star. The resulting sound (completed by bassist Mark McDonough) is all their own.
“Music conveys a sense of freedom,” the band writes of their vision for the album. “On The Road is all about that sort of freedom. It’s about taking flight from all the serious rooms that would otherwise suffocate us. We’d like to think that Kerouac himself would approve.”