Downtown Runnin

Big French

Wharf Cat Recoreds, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


If you were judging an album by its cover art, one might surmise this is a pretty out there, bizarre album from these five Brooklyn residents. However, that would be an immense understatement. Consisting of 18 songs in 30 minutes that mash prog rock, garage rock, post-punk, weird ballads, and even tasteful pop into a borderline insane and weirdly experimental listen, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Downtown Runnin is hands down one of the most eclectic and altogether strange discs you'll ever hear.

The seemingly straightforward titled "I Love Her" beings with a throbbing garage rock feel that immediately brings Iggy to mind, but once the very unusual vocals come in you know you're in for a special listen. While tracks like "Using The House," "Rugs N Flags," and "Alison" are screechy, erratic, and quick paced, others like "Downtown Runnin" and "When I Was Blind" are more tame and restrained, but I could still barely make out any lyrics as the high pitched, slurred singing truly defies any comparisons. It nearly sounds alien, the whacky music often following suit.

This isn't to say there aren't any first rate, somewhat 'normal' songs here. “Payback” is a solid, charged rock tune that wouldn't be out of place during a chase scene of a movie. “Would Not Try” is a great, off kilter ballad that tugs at the heartstrings. “Ungungungungone” would be easily filed under post-punk. But there's no denying there are certainly more irregular, outrageous moments to be found, which I'm inclined to feel Big French prides themselves on.

Simultaneously noisy and melodic, unpredictable but tuneful, with some songs sounding half developed, this album's quickly shuffling varying of sounds and styles is part of what makes it so interesting. Consistent tempos and time signatures essentially mean nothing to Big French, but originality and authenticity mean everything, which we are all better off for in the long run.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wharf Cat Recoreds, and is used for informational purposes only.