By Alex Donaldson
Aptly titled for our current times of isolation, How to Work a Room is the debut album by Los Angeles group Superet. An album of blistering new wave and indie rock it’s not reinventing the wheel, but it doesn’t have to be.
The album begins with a skit, one of four tying together a loose theme of an instructional guide, ‘How To: Work A Room’. The opening track ‘Bone Bag’ kicks the album off with a thicker piece of 80’s inspired electronic pop. It’s followed up with the much faster paced ‘Farrington Pond’ each song further in the band’s new wave influences bleeding, evoking the classic sounds without sounding derivative. The expansive keys and soaring vocals of ‘Blue Age’ shows off the band’s range.
The middle of the album displays even more range, from faster paced lead single ‘Comes as Relief’ into ‘Some Bright Lights’ which starts slow with a passage of strings before opening up into a synth-ballad about being born. ‘A Gash on the Cheek’ is the album’s standout song. A driven piece of new wave about, the subject described perfectly by the opening shout of ‘betrayal’. It’s another song on the album doesn’t fail to get you moving. That’s the beauty in ‘How to work a room’; more than anything it’s up-beat, up-tempo and catchy.
I only picked up this album during the lockdown after all because I found myself humming the earworm tune to ‘Comes as Relief’. The riffs on songs like ‘YDS2M’ find a way to stick around in your head all day. By the time it gets to the rousing closer ‘Shapeless Place’, ending the album on a blood-pumping high you feel just about ready to go again.
The excellent song writing throughout makes the album a fun and entertaining listen, perfect for being cooped up inside. Many of us, myself included, have essays still to do it makes for a perfect upbeat soundtrack. Laced throughout with dazzling synths, sharp riffs and captivating hooks it’s definitely one that’s been keeping me sane.