Cleveland indie-rockers Runaway Brother released their highly-praised sophomore album New Pocket earlier this month through Tiny Engines. Give it a listen in the player below.
Allow me to start off this review with a quick story:
Admittedly, I have never heard of Runaway Brother up until a few months ago when my band was asked to play a show with them. After further research, I noticed that they were signed by the stellar label Tiny Engines. Eager to open for a band of such stature, I could not wait to listen to their music.
On the 16th when they released New Pocket, my Twitter timeline was covered in Runaway Brother praise. People were literally going out of their way to promote the new record and saying how fantastic it was.
As soon as I had the opportunity to, I popped on New Pocket and gave it a listen for myself.
To be completely blunt, I found this record to be underwhelming. I look for a beginning, a middle, and an end in a record and this one did not have any. It just started and then 44 minutes later it finished. The album was also very poorly mixed. The drum sound specifically was disappointing.
It was difficult, but after looking past the poor sound quality, I was able to notice how smart the songwriting was. New Pocket is riddled with random time changes (which I am always a fan of) and even venture into measures of 5/8. That being said, I honestly do not see myself returning to this record for any specific song. Nothing really jumped out to me and I could not really find anything within the tracks to connect with.
Even though I was not the biggest fan of this record, I was still excited to be on the same bill as a band that has so much buzz around them. A lot of people really love this new Runaway Brother album.
At the show I met Runaway Brother’s bassist and drummer. They were young guys who were extremely happy to be there. We talked about the release of New Pocket and their current tour. These dudes were very humble and just trying their best to enjoy the journey they are on and I respected that. They were super friendly and our conversation led into funny stories about cops putting a stop to the basement shows we’ve played.
Their set was incredible. Runaway Brother is a great live band. They live sound is better than their studio stuff and that is really hard to do, especially today. I was particularly impressed with their vocal harmonies. Their whacky time signatures were also executed to perfection.
Runaway Brother’s set included a lot of songs from New Pocket, but also featured songs off of their first full-length Mother which I had not listened to yet.
Mother, released in 2015, is an awesome record featuring killer songs like “Harvest”, “Moth”, and “Catch”. Check it out below:
My all-time favorite Runaway Brother tune would have to be a song called “Summer/Autumn” from 2014.
I met Runaway Brother during the first week of their 40+ day tour and they were great. We wish them the best on the rest of tour and congratulate them on their newfound success. It could not be happening to a nicer group of guys. Their live performance definitely made me reevaluate my initial perception of their new record.
If you liked New Pocket, tell me why I’m an idiot in the comments. For now, we’re giving it 2/5 Scoops.
- Brooks, M. (2018, February 27). Review: Runaway Brother – New Pocket. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.getalternative.com/review-runaway-brother-new-pocket/
- Runaway Brother. (2018, February 16). New Pocket. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from https://runawaybrother.bandcamp.com/album/new-pocket
- Runaway Brother. (2015, March 31). Mother. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from https://runawaybrother.bandcamp.com/album/mother-2