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Album Reviews, Music

Album Review: RUNNING Writes Love Letter To Noise Punk With New Album “Vaguely Ethnic”

By: Shelby Monita (@shelbymonita) –

Coming from Chicago, RUNNING’s new album, Vaguely Ethnic (out August 6th via Castle Face Records), doesn’t have anything vague about it. From screeching guitar riffs to the smashing of a tom that is perfect for a good head bang, this debut album gives you kick, no energy drink can match.

RUNNING brings back a great time in music, circa 2007, when The Horrors released their debut album Strange House. An LP that is garage-goth-grunge punk at its finest. For whatever reasons The Horrors had, when they released their second album Primary Colours, though still great, had more of a Joy Division influence. Though it made for a terrific album, it did leave the lovers of the first full length in the dust and waiting for another great band to come and fill the void. RUNNING isn’t perfect, but they are close enough.

The first track on Vaguely Ethnic, “Thanks for the Input” sparks all kinds of similarities to The Horrors style of dark, loud, horrific punk, but sped up. And unlike The Horrors, RUNNING focuses more on muffled, distorted vocals that are hard to interpret. Though the hypnotic guitar riffs more than make up for whatever you can’t understand in the lyrics.

Few songs later in the album, and you come across a track titled “Oo0o Oo0O Oo0oOo”.  Match the cheeky title with perfectly timed pauses, delicious heart pounding beat and the singer screaming “ah ah ah ah ah”, can only imagine this is fantastic sex and it is very welcomed. Not unlike The Stooges infamously sultry number, “TV Eye”. RUNNING certainly took a page out of Iggy Pop’s book for this track.

Other song such as “Controversial PR”, “This is a You Problem” and “Endless Baggage” in the titles alone show off the bands more angst ridden side. Not to worry though because the loud, scary and haunting riffs, vocals and drums hide it well.

Coming to the end of the album, it leaves the listener wanting more. The beautiful, deep, dark, hard and rough sounds of this noisy punk band are mysterious and delightful. Listen to this with someone you like and cause a little trouble together.

Essential Tracks: Thanks for the Input”, “Oo0o Oo0O Oo0oOo” and  “This is a You Problem”.


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