Run Forever

Run Forever

Written by: TL on 23/10/2015 15:37:55

Pennsylvania group Run Forever, now sans the comma in the middle of their name, are back with a third album, and after two records of more ragged, agitated emo-punk in the veins of Tigers Jaw and Andrew Jackson Jihad, the new record sounds like the band is mellowing out a bit, turning into more of an emo/indie/shoegaze proposition. The guitar chords ring with distortion sure enough, but the tempo is predominantly mellow, channeling feelings of disenchantment, disillusionment and well, boredom.

The band puts it pretty accurately on the second track "Big Vacation", which has a weird sense of melody, sort of like a retro pop song: "I felt just like everyone, when I grew so bored with my life". It's exactly that vibe you pick up, and even though the song title points to an exciting experience, the actual track seems more concerned with the futility of trying to escape your daily routine by briefly travelling to somewhere exciting. We're restless, we're bored and we see no point in anything. Those seem to be the sentiments channeled when you first put the record on, and while there are reflections in such feelings that most can relate to, this kind of energy - or lack thereof - permeating the minimalistic chord progressions that make up Run Forever's instrumental side, is ironically just as boring to listen to.

Luckily, things get a little less predictable about midway through the album. After having moped around for a small handful of drearily predictable tracks that you only barely want to call songs, frontman Anthony Heubel finds a bit of compelling melody to sing his lyrics on, on "Shifting Responsibility", and indeed it seems like his lyrics and melodies are actually meant to be what the rest of the music simply builds an atmosphere around. Fair enough, but ironically it is "Separate Bedrooms" which arguably prickles the ears the most, as Heubel here sings with little else than muted string-plucking to support him. It gives you the impression that the song might explode at any moment, and although it never actually does, the illusion of potential makes you pay extra attention to the singing and the lyrics here.

The latter half of the album has a little more energy, and seemingly some more elaborate ideas for the songs to grow personalities from, with "Exhale" for instance thriving on a classic case of quiet/loud dynamics. On the flipside though, a rhyme like the one in "Company Card", "I don't want to have the best voice, I just wanna make the most noise", is both predictable and invokes an unfortunate comparison to Bright Eyes' "Road To Joy", reminding you that these very feelings of disillusionment have been treated in much more inventive and exciting ways than they are on "Run Forever". And with that in mind, it makes more sense grading the album rather modestly. Because you may argue that it succeeds indisputably at invoking those mentioned feeling of boredom and restlessness through its extremely barebones shoegaze-rock, but unless you're desperately looking for confirmation that others feel as bored with their lives as you do, it seems likely that you can find music which reflects more interestingly on these themes, than this frankly somewhat uneventful album does.

Download: Seperate Bedrooms, Grand Marquis
For The Fans Of: Tigers Jaw, Lee Corey Oswald, Citizen

Release date 09.10.2015
No Sleep Records

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXII