In this world of green screens and auto-tune, we grow mistrustful of things that are TOO perfect. Anyone with a budget, who the marketing powers that be decide will be the next best thing, can be made to sound pitch perfect, polished and poised.
The result can end up rather counterintuitive as oftentimes things that sound "perfect" are immediately discarded as the brain needs some element of the unknown or the unpredictable to make a true imprint - music is all about tension and resolution, right? Often times things that are unpolished and raw end up making a greater impact, and because of it record-making seems to be turning back to a point in the mid-‘60s, when there was very little post-production and musicians had to know how to play their instruments.
Young Runner, the inaugural EP from the NY trio Young Runner consisting of Chris Ceballos on bass, Robert Fleming on guitar and vocals and Patrick Grant-Musso on drums is designed to make you feel as if you're in the concrete practice room as the lads churn out their tunes. In this case, that's a good thing, as these boys can play!
"Wet Cement" begins with a very catchy, melodic bassline that sounds like something The Pixies' Kim Deal would have come up with, which is joined by Grant-Musso's punchy drumming. Not only does the rhythm section play well together but also the parts are sympathetically recorded as well with the drums tight and pitched, cutting through the mix. It creates a wide foundation for Fleming's guitar to build and froth and pitch. Nothing breaks the spell; the intensity builds to a feverish pitch. "Wet Cement" snares you, a truly bitchin' rock tune, and you're a fan before you know it.
It sets the pace for a jet ride of a record. The drums pummel and plummet, and never relent, while the bass snarls and growls and rips. Fleming's guitar lines are restrained and efficient; not flabby or excessive or self-congratulatory. He serves the sound, and his parts are more memorable, because of it. Everything serves a purpose; that could be the battle cry of this record.
Young Runner fluctuates between energy and fun, and danger and menace, so there's a little something here for every fan of guitar, bass, and drums. The EP doesn't screw around, it's short and sweet and crisp and to the point. Everything is showcased in its best light; the songwriting and the musicianship, which is what makes for a successful band. You will be hearing more from this band, I guarantee it!
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