Ellis

1st Base Runner

Independent release, 2021

http://www.1stbaserunner.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/01/2022

The powerful vision of longtime Austin, Texas musician Tim Husmann—1st Base Runner multi-instrumentalist and producer—is in the company of Bryan Ellis for this very eclectic album that relies much on atmosphere and mood. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The quick listen starts off with the electro-pop fun of “Near Me,” where beats and a dreamy landscape suit the post-punk leanings well and in a way that might soundtrack a late night at the club. This creative opener leads into “Flux,” where a balance between retro alt-rock and modern indie-rock buzzes with a dark charm that's got a bit of mystery to it.

Sandwiched in the middle, “Numbers” flirts with New Wave tendencies and is textured precisely and intimately, thankfully, while “WXW” floats addicting melodies amid a glaze of warmth that's got a romantic spirit buried into the sonically soothing landscape.

“Man Overboard,” the most adventurous tune present, exits the listen with trip-hop and gothic rock ideas at the surface, where skilled keys mesmerize us alongside the ambience and cinematic nods.

Husmann often draws influences from the ’80s in his work, and his precise use of analog synth and well thought out lyrics inject plenty of emotion into the song craft while also tipping his hat to shoegaze and darkwave sensibilities.

At five tracks, this one ends far too early, but, thankfully, 1st Base Runner released three EPs in a 12-month span so there's plenty more to explore, especially if you gravitate towards names like Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Aphex Twin.

This packaging is especially noteworthy, too. Housed in a cassette, the music can be found on a thumb drive that flips out of the cassette, providing a nostalgic visual combined with modern technology, which isn't too far off from the music's aesthetics, either.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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