It is safe to say that SPIRIT IN THE ROOM have had a fantastic career so far. Since the formation of the project in 2010, Los Angeles-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Dennis R. Saunders has well and truly cemented his place in the alternative rock scene. This isn’t to say that he hasn’t faced challenges though; after parting ways with a couple of record labels during his 12 years in the industry, it has been proven that his musical journey hasn’t always been easy. However, SPIRIT IN THE ROOM are back with a brand new EP after a two-year wait, accompanied with a freshly signed record contract with Housecore Records; more than ready to take a stand yet again.
The new EP Flamingo contains five unforgettable tracks, which are all based on personal experiences that Saunders has had in the last couple of years pre and post-pandemic. The majority of this body of work comes from Saunders‘ realisation that he doesn’t feel like he has a solid home, moving from one troubled environment to another. He ended up “living in a room in a big house in the true Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno that got increasingly violent.” Throughout the course of the EP, we experience a whole range of feelings from paranoia to obsession that make Flamingo what it is; a musically progressive record with Saunders more than ready to take risks along the way.
The first track is If You Must, in which Saunders croons over a gothic, industrial style chord progression which is just too addictive. The song is a must listen for anyone looking to get into SPIRIT IN THE ROOM, as it’s only a taster of what they have to offer. My Body is somewhat chaotic throughout, expressing Saunders‘ true feelings about his current living situation. A FRANK CARTER AND THE RATTLESNAKES style, grit-fuelled guitar riff kicks things off in the best way. The song transforms into a lighter version of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, hitting us right in the face with an almost schizophrenic nature throughout to make this song well and truly stand out from the crowd.
The Bird Of Paradise Alights Only Upon The Hand That Does Not Grasp transports us back to the fuzzy, synth-heavy style as heard on the first track. The verses successfully build tension, before Saunders leaps into a thrilling, infectious chorus, covering themes such as obsession and love in a very chilling manner. Venting is another track which has taken inspiration from THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN in terms of vocal delivery and dysfunctional musical progression. As we creep into the final track I Used To Be A Machine we are met with thundering instrumentals, combined with further troublesome vocals from Saunders. The full six minutes and 20 seconds of this song are just awe-inspiring and intriguing, leaving us fully satisfied as a result.
This is one of the strongest EP releases of this year to date, with SPIRIT IN THE ROOM really making a statement and reinforcing a true sense of identity and realism in the process.
Flamingo is set for release on August 26th via Housecore Records.
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