Friday, April 08, 2011
Album Review: Slow Runner - Damage Points
The album opens in true, grandiose Slow Runner fashion with a wall of strings and woodwinds before Michael Flynn's voice comes in backed only by a stark piano. He draws you in gently before the rest of the band joins in to crank up the volume halfway through the song.
It's in this dichotomy where the band excels —simple melodies and solid songwriting, backed by lush arrangements and beats that easily get your head bobbing. "Auto-Happy" is one such tune, jam packed with synth and a driving beat.
The tempo pulls back on "It's Back," a sultry jam where Flynn and company use recorded breathing on a loop to keep tempo. The song is nearly instrumental, with sparse but deliberate lyrics. It's a diversion from the rest of the album, but a welcomed lull.
There is nary a clunker to be found among these polished pop gems, though Flynn takes the chance to experiment with his darker side on "Spooky Ghost." Moody synths peppered with tinkling pianos and layered vocals pair nicely with the appropriately eerie lyrics. "I'm best friends with a spooky ghost / An apparition who can never let anything go / Howling at me in code / In dead languages none of us will ever know."
The album closes with "Super Damage Points!," a sort of reprise to the opening title track as if it's been run through a synth filter and prepped for the latest Nintendo game soundtrack.
Damage Points certainly showcases some more experimentation on the part of the band, but they do so while relying on their solid foundation of great pop songs.
Slow Runner will be at The Pour House this Sunday, April 10. Tickets are $12 and $15 at the door. William Fitzsimmons will headline.