The Blithedale Romance celebrates EP release at Rutgers
In a room illuminated by Christmas lights and adorned with tapestries proudly hanging on the walls, students and fans alike fled to take cover with their favorite bands this past weekend at The Bomb Shelter, one of the underground basement venues in the New Brunswick independent music scene.
The Blithedale Romance, an alternative punk rock band consisting of college students and a recent Rutgers University graduate, came back to New Brunswick with full force in honor of their EP, “Wanderer,” which was released Tuesday and can be found at theblithedaleromance.bandcamp.com.
Following the anticipated performance of the band You, Me, And Everyone We Know, which performed together for the first time in years, the packed basement was filled with good vibes, energy and excitement as fans crowd surfed and shouted along to lyrics that transported them into the past.
YMAEWK created a nostalgic atmosphere, playing songs that traveled with fans back to those awkward yet carefree middle school and high school years, during which they attempted to mold an identity for themselves.
The Blithedale Romance had huge shoes to fill performing in front of an audience that had just witnessed a set spanning across years of several EPs, but as a band that has developed and grown throughout the years, they did not disappoint.
A band that thrives on putting on a show rather than relying strictly on their music, The Blithedale Romance kept spirits lifted by starting out strong with their latest single, “State of Fear,” off their new album.
The overall set list included a mix of songs off their older EP, “King,” such as “December 1854.” Tracks off “Wanderer,” including “Dryocopus Pileatus” and “Treason,” were played as well.
The Blithedale Romance made a smart decision feeding the audience a spectrum of diverse songs. This truly showcased how far they’ve expanded in terms of sound, now dabbling with even darker tones and content that electrified the small, intimate setting.
As with all basement shows, they managed to compensate for an actual physical platform by going full throttle with every song and claiming their territory. The close proximity between the band and audience fueled their connection and made fans feel like a part of their musical journey from beginning to end.
The contagious energy of the room left the crowd grasping for another song even after the encore, the better-known “Master of Time,” had ended. The band proved to be a crowd-pleasing choice to end a night of music that resonated with audiences on an entirely new level.
The Blithedale Romance is a prime example that with passing time comes the desire to experiment with content and sound and push boundaries as musicians.
Their new EP “Wanderer” highlights that they are extremely capable of successful reinvention while still holding on to the dichotomy of the ominous nature and elevated energy that distinguishes them from other underground bands.