Lock up four music students in a recording studio and changes are that it will turn into a game of one-upmanship and a stack of overstuffed songs that go nowhere. LA band Fell Runner, who met at the California Institute of the Arts, sidestepped those pitfalls on their self-titled debut. It is a heady mix of West African rhythms and New Wave hooks a la XTC and Television. And being from California they couldn't resist adding Beach Boys harmonies every now and then.
Listeners won't need a degree to digest the fragmented build-up of the bulk of their material, but having ability to handle unusual time signatures is essential. Fell Over is a band foregoing flowing notes - the production is as dry as Desert Valley. Their quirky, jagged songs earned them the sign of approval from Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker, who wrote an insightful essay for the liner notes. This is a band that can seamlessly blend world music with post-punk and create a sound that is truly their own.
Steven van Betten: guitar, vocals
Gregory Uhlmann: guitar, vocals
Patrick Kelly: bass
Tim Carr: drums
Lauren Baba: viola on “Cobwebs"
Fell Runner is released on Orenda Records.Tracks:
- Song of the Sun
- 60 Seconds
- Better Isn't Always Better
- Rain Room
- Fall Back