Artist: Run Kid Run
Title: Patterns
Label: Tooth & Nail

Despite their adolescent moniker and punk origins, rock foursome Run Kid Run has taken a step out of the subculture with its remarkably poised and anthemic third album, Patterns.

Produced by Relient K’s Matt Thiessen and rock vet Mark Lee Townsend, Patterns has the crunch of punk, the hookiness of pop, and—perhaps most importantly—a surprising amount of poise. It’s not string-saturated or overly earnest, but just sweeping enough in its melodies and subject matter to suggest growth. Even the album title suggests a certain amount of perspective, the realization that life goes on, with lots of thoughts about growing up, the passage of time, and the difficult choices we make.

All this talk of maturity shouldn’t be read as a lack of fun. Patterns is full of sensational rock moments. “Last Hurrah” is a hooky, fist-in-the-air crowd pleaser, and “Daylight” is another highlight, featuring a superb chorus underpinned by a meaty riff. But what happens at the end of this explosive number is perhaps more telling of the band’s growth, as the song downshifts into an almost-tender, subdued close, with lead singer David Josiah Curtis crooning, “I could use a moment of your time, if I could prove a way that we’d survive. Would you hold on to this, my dear?” It’s not a deliberately experimental move, but still significant. This intimate moment shifts directly into two more rockers: the gritty, blues-flavored opening of “Someway, Somehow” and the straight-ahead punch of “Rely on Her.” The sentiments expressed on “Promise” about intergenerational relationships and identity—“I’m 24 with my hands in my pockets, why can’t I stop this?”—aren’t commonly associated with this genre of music. When the band does shift into more standard, boy-meets-girl territory, the results are equally accomplished, as on “Sunburn,” with Curtis singing the exuberant chorus, “I’m gone, you’ve got me orbiting your sun, and when I’m falling back to earth, it burns.”

Like most new acts developing under the veteran Tooth& Nail umbrella, Run Kid Run isn’t flashy, but for rock fans craving legitimate credibility, it’s a good space on which to land. As long as there are bands like this one to chew on, fans of rock will never go hungry. 

Listen on Spotify while you read.

Check out Run Kid Run music videos at Godtube.com