Run, Forever

The Devil And Death And Me

Written by: TL on 01/05/2011 17:02:39

Right, moving on we've got another record from punk's neck of the woods, and this time it's "The Devil And Death And Me", the debut LP from Pittsburgh-based trio Run, Forever, which has gathered quite a bit of positive buzz, at least in media that I tend to keep up with. This is understandable, as the band's style situates them in an area between indie, folk and punk that not many bands sit in these days.

The easiest point of reference is Against Me, as the punk/folk fusion has previously been explored by them, but Run, Forever seemingly have a slightly more heavy-hearted and ambitious approach, as heard in the very passionate vocal style, which reminds me simultaneously of Titus Andronicus and Tigers Jaw (even some of the more bitter songs by Bright Eyes/Desaparecidos).

One of the best things about this record is that Run, Forever keep their songwriting versatile, so that you don't feel like some tired punk-rock formula is being recycled song in and song out. Instead experiments are made with different tempos and both acoustic and fuzzy electrical instruments, while vocalist Anthony Heubel delivers a continuous stream of spirited lyrics that make you feel like these are songs that matter.

As such, this is not a record to get lazy, as each song is both recognizable and engaging in its own passionate way. However, that being said, I still think the record itself is proof that Run, Forever, when they're at their best, are capable of even better songs than most of those included. I make this observation based in songs that stand out above the rest, like "The Grand Illusion" and "There's Only Today" and especially in "10.000 Leagues", which burns its memory into the mind much stronger than any of the other songs, via the refrain that goes:

..And in the darkest part of the human heart, I strike a match/ 'cause I believe that there's hope for us yet/ and in every crashing wave I hear you call my name/ you said; "I love you and you'll make it out of this"..

When all is said and done, this perceived discrepancy in quality, is what I think eventually leaves me a bit lukewarm about the record as a whole. All together, it's a versatile and engaging listen, which is certainly commendable, but at least to me, it is a bit short on those defining moments that would invite me to give it many full spins in the future. Hence I'm not going quite as high with my gradings as other publications have done before me, but make no mistake, I still consider this a fine debut, from a band promising enough to merit you keeping your eye on them.

Download: 10.000 Leagues, The Grand Illusion, There's Only Today, The Devil And Death And Me
For The Fans Of: Against Me, Titus Andronicus, Tigers Jaw, Desaparecidos
Listen: soundcloud.com/runforevermusic

Release Date 21.12.2010
Solidarity Recordings

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