This past Groundhog’s Day was a historic first for the Marquette music scene. In the cool, packed basement of the Mildred House, newcomer band, Rumpus Room sprang from the masses and into local stardom as they took the stage. This taught trio, composed of NMU English major and bassist Cameron Iverson, outdoor recreation leadership and management majors Tatum Scheibler on lead guitar and Joe Raasch on drums, ignited the February night with its fiery bops.
They cracked open the night with an instrumental jam. Anchored in a repeated bass line tailored by Iverson, Scheibler took charge of providing improvisations over the top. His guitar playing was deliberate and well-meditated, never overcrowding passages with excessive notes or harsh intervals. This gave each note the freedom to breathe and interweave with its counterparts, knitting a warm blanket of musical phrases. Keeping everything together, Raasch manned the drum kit with a steady beat, sprinkled with fills and a splash of cymbal action. The drumbeat remained tasteful, never confusing the audience with tangley rhythms or odd, off-putting accents. Keen ears and intergroup chemistry allowed for Rumpus Room to shape the jam with swells and furrows of sound. Much like a creek, the song started with a quiet flow, molding into a series of rocking rapids, each more boisterous than the last, culminating into a final cascade of sound that smashed into a calm, quiet resolution.
Rumpus Room also showed a softer side. Guitarist Scheibler blessed the basement with gentle strumming as well as with his vocal prowess. His voice was a soft, plush sofa, comforting the audience in cool clever lines and satisfying rhymes. Practicing poetry in his free time, Scheibler chose each word with the utmost care, flowing off his tongue like a gently flowing sink. Similar to the musical stylings of Mac DeMarco, the guitar was cloaked in a wavering chorus and a deep reverb, an elegant pairing to Scheibler’s vocal timbre. Behind it, Iverson’s bass and Raasch’s drums engaged in a tender ballet, each part delicately and unobtrusively backing the soulful frontman.
Rumpus Room radiated with unrefined potential, present in both the bombastic highs and creamy, dreamy lows. Perfection, however, is impossible to achieve on one’s first attempt, music of course being no exception. The ability to play music precisely warrants time, skill and energy. When music is played with others, the difficulty increases by tenfold. There were some hiccups throughout Rumpus Room’s set, typical of the age old ailment, first-show jitters. The cure-all, of course, is time. With time comes practice, with practice comes confidence. Once this confidence is gained, any remaining cracks can be sealed with passion, action and personal fashion. It’s simply a matter of growing and developing. Rumpus Room is a strong, skillful stallion that with time and training can transform into a Triple Crown musical thoroughbred.
Outside of a few pictures, there are no recorded songs, videos, or social media for Rumpus Room, at least none that are available to the public. If you’d like to see or hear this band, feel free to pester the three members into publishing their songs. Until then, keep it bopping, Marquette.