Album Review: Roommate – “Guilty Rainbow”

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Chicago experimental outfit Roommate is known for its thought-provoking lyrics and intricate, electronics-infused instrumentation — and Guilty Rainbow, the band’s newest release, impresses on both fronts.

The album (which you can sample above) is a multi-layered masterpiece, with vibraphone, banjo, violin, synths, traditional rock instruments, and even a Game Boy ebbing and flowing beneath singer Kent Lambert’s mysterious lyrics.

The band, which has had as many as 30 contributors, will soon embark on a West Coast tour, this time as a two-piece with Lambert on vocals, synths, and drum machines, and San Francisco’s Cody Hennesy (The Rhombus) on guitar, vocals, and keys. The duo will re-interpret songs from Roommate’s eleven-year history in a manner that — as Lambert puts it — is “intimate yet tripped-out.”

Though it looks like Roommate won’t make it to San Diego this time, those who have the chance to catch them in their town should not pass up the opportunity. Anyone who has seen these guys play can testify that they always leave their audience auditorily awestruck.

But no matter where you live, be sure to enter this contest. Not only is Guilty Rainbow a great album, but the two copies we’re giving away are from an already rare pressing of 300.

To enter the contest, simply email Be sure to include your full name and mailing address in the body of the email. The two winners will be chosen at random and notified on August 31.

Roommate on Tour
8/5 – Blondies – Arcata, CA
8/6 – Alberta St. Pub – Portland, OR w/Ethiopiate and Au Dunes
8/7 – Tiny Tavern – Eugene, OR
8/9 – The Hemlock – San Francisco, CA w/Tortured Genies and Sunbeam Rd.
8/11 – Origami Vinyl (in-store) – Los Angeles, CA
8/12 – Lot 1 – Los Angeles, CA w/Moonbeams and Coolzey

8/13 – Muddy Waters – Santa Barbara, CA w/Califone
8/14 – The Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
8/20 – O’Sullivan’s Public House, ROBSTOCK 2011 (Benefit) – Forest Park, IL

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