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Album Review: Mother by Runaway Brother

Cleveland, OH’s Runaway Brother release their debut album Mother on Tiny Engines Records on the 30th March. Its 11 tracks of catchy emo rock, think Say Anything mixed with Motion City Soundtrack with a smattering of Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms. Throughout Mother the band walk the tightrope between pop hooks and a punk energy. Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end, it’s a thrilling ride that you need to get aboard.

Runaway Brother don’t just give you standard American emo rock, there’s something extra to the sound, it’s that little more mature and astute. Most notably the catchiness dial is turned right up to eleven. There’s also a real urgency to the sound that seems to come directly from the distinct vocal style and guitar playing of Jacob Lee. You’ll notice it on ‘Moth’ where the desperation in the vocal during the chorus intensifies the track and sends a shiver down the spine.

‘Hummingbird’ is infectiously gentle and delicate, before the track kicks off around the 2 and a half minute mark when the guitars explode in glorious style and the added rasp to Jacob Lee’s vocal suckers you in and you can almost sense the emotional intensity. With that you get a real connection with the sound of Runaway Brother that continues throughout Mother. The guitar playing is emotive and produces some glorious hooks that you can’t help but fall in love with. The rhythm section holds everything together in perfect style making the sound huge and dynamically pleasing. Perfectly demonstrated on ‘False Hero’, the music really comes to the fore and you’ll find it an enthralling listen.

Lee’s vocal marries itself with the music with stunning effect on ‘Catch’ – it suckers you in and demands you attention with the stomp before withdrawing into a quiet chorus where it almost hide behind some glistening guitars. The sumptuous bass groove throughout the track gets you moving. ‘Hold Me Down’ continues that brilliant bass groove, coupled with light guitar you’ve got the catchiest and poppiest track on Mother. Things take a step back on ‘Virgin Rock’, the down tempo track sits perfectly alongside the more up-tempo tracks and lets the expansive style of music shine before a chaotic and thrilling final 30 seconds see the track off in real style. There’s a simmering anger behind ‘Makes You Happy’ which makes it both thrilling and adds an extra vigour to the overall feel of Mother.

‘Repise’ is insanely catchy and could easily be considered one of the most instantaneous emo track of recent times. Runaway Brother really pull it out of the bag with album closer ‘Youniverse’. Clocking in at over 7 minutes, it’s a track of epic proportion. It condenses the feel of Mother into one track and the piano adds a delicate new texture.

Mother is the ideal album for the more discernible emo fan. It’s full of nuances that become apparent in each listen making it a cut above you average release in the genre. Enthralling and highly enjoyable from beginning to end.
AD Rating 8/10


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  1. Album Review: New Pocket by Runaway Brother – Alt Dialogue

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