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Askew Review 15

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THE RUNS- Wet Sounds (Urban Cheese Records) I can just picture it: A balding, middle-aged, workin’ slob with an unapologetic beer belly peeking out from underneath his wife beater, staring at his neighbor’s basement in anger and shouting, “Shut the fuck up!  For Chris’ sakes, SHUT THE FUCK UP!”  Bashing away inside that basement is what sounds- at least from outside - like a marginally atonal Ramones cover band.   And in this vision, if the enraged neighbor were to bust in and come roaring down the stairs, he’d find The Runs making a helluva lot of noise and smiling like eejits.  He’d also find that there are actually some pretty cool guitar parts offsetting the high school-ish, boom-chick-crash drumming.  And maybe this grouchy fellow would actually be a little charmed by these drunken ne’er-do-wells.  I know I sort of am.  While some of the material on Wet Sounds sounds, well, crappy (no vague pun intended), there are also a bunch of songs that are catchy and have great energy and are really impossible not to bop along with.  And despite the toilet humor suggested by the band’s name and album title, the lyrics by and large avoid bodily functions (“Your Butt Begs For Butter” is a notable exception), and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I think as long as The Runs give their pissed off neighbor a few cans of Bud and promise to write a flattering song about him and/or not to date his daughters, he won’t call the cops.  What more can you ask for? –Ben Hunter



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