Run Run Run – Endless Winter

Run Run Run
Endless Winter

Endless Winter, the debut album by LA’s Run Run Run, is one of those frustrating musical affairs that has a handful of great songs but almost double that amount in disposable tracks. It’s especially bothersome that the filler runs consistently from tracks three through nine on a 12-song album. The excellent recordings here merit deeper description, so let’s investigate.

Endless Winter opens with a couple of winners in “Drizzle” and “Wait Up for You.” Whereas “Drizzle” unrolls slowly and exposes the band’s shoegaze leanings, with lush layers of electric guitars and Xander Smith’s trance-like vocals, “Wait Up for You” rocks harder, recalling a passionate bar band through its lyrics, tempo, and rougher guitars. Cool echo effects give “Wait Up for You” an edge. It’s positively surprising that “Wait Up for You” brings to mind two classic early songs by The Church, “Too Fast for You” and “Tear it All Away.”

Unfortunately, after such a strong opening, Endless Winter proceeds for almost a half hour of endless boredom. “Last One” and “Wire” sound cheesy, like they were written as background music for some “tough scenes” in Saved by the Bell. Unimaginative, repetitive hard rock is the order of the day with tracks like “Skyscraper,” “Try,” and “Wire.” However, as noted earlier, Run Run Run manages to bookend a series of forgettable noise with two more sensational songs. “Beautiful Feeling” shifts from aggressive neo-psychedelic rock to sensitive dream pop – quite remarkable and instantly catchy.

It’s one thing to cover a revered song well, but it’s a whole other matter to reinterpret it by giving the work new life and unexpected associations. With its new arrangement for Mazzy Star’s classic “Fade into You,” Run Run Run has recorded a cover version that sounds even more magnetic than what Hope Sandoval and David Roback released. The most striking element of Run Run Run’s version of “Fade into You” may be the unmistakable similarity in vocal style, guitar playing, and even rhythm section to The Church.

Endless Winter exposes a band with significant playing skills and a lot of potential in the writing department. Unfortunately, most of the album drags on with loud, formulaic hard rock instead of the intricate and twisted tales that Run Run Run delivers convincingly and attractively with shoegazer and neo-psychedelic inclinations. Let’s hope for better records from these Los Angelinos in the future.