“We play really fast, really noisily.” Runaround Kids slouch into the press tent at Beacons Festival like the cast of a college teen movie.
The trio of Wakefield lads are doing well for themselves, having been signed for three years with hometown label Philophobia, tipped and played on Radio One, XFM, and BBC 6 Music, and invited to Reading and Leeds to support the likes of Pulled Apart By Horses and Dinosaur Pile-up.
“Our stuff is kind of indie-punk, kind of overly emotional bollocks. Not emo though. We started by listening to stuff like Johnny Cube, Sonic Youth; really noisy.”
And you can hear the influence in their debut album of August 2011. Gutsy, uncomplicated pop punk is served up, steaming, with no sides and no salad. There is an unashamedly American twinge to both the vocals and the power chord-driven energetic guitars, but the intuitive melodies are gripping.
It is a winning formula, and one that they stuck to through the entirety of their first album and the following EP You’d Feel The Same, which was released this April on Philophobia. The volume of work is impressive – there is obviously as much energy put into their creative process as their angsty performance. And there’s more to come.
“We’ve been doing singles all this year, we’re going to bring them all together as a mini album at the end of this year – a Winter EP in December.”
Things are moving fast for Runaround Kids. Released around a month ago, their newest EP ‘We Are Losers’ is hot off the studio reels. From the name you would guess at more of the same sort balls to the wall and unabashed fare that’s to be found throughout the band’s earlier releases, but the opening track surprises you with nostalgic rock, augmented by 60s-style harmonies. The second could be a Vampire Weekend tune, were it a little more pretentious, and the EP is rounded off with a completely incongruous acoustic pop song, complete with cheery whistling. The boys seem unperturbed.
“We’re probably leaning towards American punk. But I don’t think we’re genre-bent in any way. Our first album was a lot poppier than the stuff we’re doing now, so the way we’ve done it now I think is quite a nice progression.”
“We record everything live – it sounds more true, I guess, that way. I think pretty much all good music is honest – no bullshit.”
The eclecticism could be a Henry Rollins salute to all those (myself included) trying to put Runaround Kids in a box. Or it could be an experimental search for their own niche. Much like the recurring lyrical themes of pop punk, the band seem caught between nostalgia for the simpler days of their first album and a burning desire to develop and progress. Maintaining a rock power stance that straddles the Atlantic is bit of a stretch, and I don’t think this Wakefield trio has quite found their true musical home, but there is a lot of promise in the single ‘Talk’, where they keep the punk roots and enduring hooks, but produce something much more than fast noise. With evident promise and a variety of paths to choose from, it’s going to be intriguing to see where the Runaround Kids end up.