Thursday, January 01, 2015

RUNNING FOR COVER - Demo

As 2014 progressed and Gas Chamber's Hemorrhaging Light record became one of my most played records (And took the #2 spot in my year's top 10 list), it rekindled my appreciation for Running For Cover. The fact that Painkiller released a remixed version of the band's demo this past summer certainly cemented things. In just a few years of actual activity, Running For Cover created a unique and harsh sound that is at times as cold as a winter day in Buffalo. Among a sea of bands playing fast with grim lyrics, there's a special energy that flows through the Dark Well record. It's the same feeling I get when I listen to The Endless Blockade or Iron Lung. The best description I found was on a write up for Dark Well: "This is not for the indie rockers and the idiots who try and write a song. This is for those painfully aware of the shittiness around them."

Like those aforementioned bands - and now Gas Chamber - the unexpected things like the melodic closer "Torture" which really stands out. The Running For Cover demo is a twenty song whirlwind that is absolutely crushing. I don't know if it was the remixing or the fact the only source I previously had was a poor tape rip, but it's an intense experience. "Throw Me Away" especially with the opening lyrics "I've got a rope, I'm ready to die." There isn't a fast song and then sludgy one dynamic that is found on so many other albums from like bands. Aside from "Luke", which has cleaner vocals, the pace is always fast. The songs never bleed together or sound the same either, which again is seriously impressive. The running time leaves you fully satisfied rather than overextends its welcome. Whilst the demo is a more straight ahead attack and lacks a noise element, it definitely foreshadows a level of frustration and viciousness that runs rampant in Dark Well and Gas Chamber.

The lyrics are something that definitely struck a cord. They aren't poetic or flowing but sharp and quick strikes of disgust and vitriol. There's a bluntness to the words akin to Jeff Beckman in Haymaker. They aren't interested in fence-sitting or gray areas. There is a brutal honesty in the lyrics without it coming off hacky or fake angry. It's why "this is for those painfully aware of the shittiness around them" sums things up better than I can.

If there was ever a band that could capture the grim coldness and violence of Buffalo, my vote would go toward Running For Cover. Killer bass, riffs, and crazed vocals are just the tip of the iceberg. It's a complex listen and despite such a short life span, the band helped start one of the most interesting and important bands in hardcore. I'm really glad Painkiller decided to put the demo on vinyl.

Check out a very in depth interview that features Running For Cover, Gas Chamber and what they have in store from the Summer Isle zine here.


10:31 AM