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  Always the Runner
Artist: Always the Runner
Label: Independent
Length: 6 tracks, 32:17

I'm not sure if there is a gigantic increase in instrumental bands these days or if I'm just noticing them more, but here's another one: Always the Runner. The band is fairly new to the scene with this their first album not counting a two-song EP released a few months ago.

Out of the recent instrumental bands I've reviewed (Unwed Sailor, Questions in Dialect, Mono, and Explosions in the Sky if you were keeping count), Always the Runner is a bit more accessible. While there is an atmospheric element to be found here, the music strongly rests in an ability to rock out. A quick listen to the six-song, 32-minute album is enough to be convinced that this band should be able to put on a fine live show.

Despite the fact that technically the band is instrumental, the album opener "A Falconer's Prayer" has some vocals as does the closing "Don't Kill the Messenger." "A Falconer's Prayer" gets the album off to an introspective start before the band takes the opportunity to prove their worth on "Speaking of Palaminos." It's the song "Telling Lies Over Lattes" that sticks out over the rest of the album in terms of musical breadth. When it comes to creative song titles, though, it's hard to beat "Let's See If Those Bastards Can Do 90" and "Not What Jesus Would Have Done."

All in all, this is a solid debut for the band. They're going to have to do quite a bit to stick out from the rest of the crowd in their genre, however. There are some signs here that make me think they can, but it's something they'll have to work hard for.
Trae Cadenhead 5/24/2004



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