For Run Kid Run's third Tooth & Nail Records, the band teamed up with producers Matt Thiessen (Relient K front man) and Mark Townsend (Relient K, The O.C. Supertones). Though that pair has collaborated countless times before on Relient K records, time with Run Kid Run sparked their inaugural co-production partnership.
In listening to Run Kid Runís Patterns, itís instantly apparent that while the groupís gasoline-doused rock remains firmly in tact, thereís also a progression prompting the groupís greatest pop sensibility to date. Some could attribute it to membersí musical refinement from tireless time on tour, which now includes countless trips throughout America and two European rendezvous, though thereís also a noticeably more mature craftsmanship.
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Test Patterns (You'll Be Glad You Did)| Posted November 14, 2011
Run Kid Run may still be considered a young band by most standards, seeing as how they’ve only been around for a little over 5 years. However, after relentless touring and the release of their third album, Patterns, it’s easy to see these guys have a clear vision of where they’re going.
According to frontman David Josiah Curtis, this latest album has a specific message that not only speaks to fans, but to the band as well: “We can all get stuck in the same routines and patterns, and if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves living in the same spot for quite a long time. This record is about choosing to get out of those patterns and renewing your mind, but it’s also about not conforming to the patterns of the world.”
First track “Farewell Old Self” serves as an intro to what the entire album is about. With the pluck of a low reverberating bass, Curtis sings: “Let’s start this over, Let’s start this over…” and as the line continues to echo in the background, Curtis exclaims, “I’m getting out for a bigger love in motion, I’m getting out for a bigger loving heart.” Slowly, quiet strings and vocal harmonies are added, but the message is clear as Curtis sings “...so farewell to my old self, I can hear the beating of the truth... I’m starting over.” There’s power in this short, 87-second song, and if it doesn’t make you want to hear what’s coming next, nothing will.
Jumping right into the next track, “Last Hurrah” kicks things into high gear. With electric guitars, drums, and Curtis’ familiar piercing vocals, lyrics paint the picture of a party where everyone is “dancing like there’s no tomorrow.” If the sound of this song and several others on the record remind you of Relient K at times, that’s probably because Matt Thiessen (Relient K frontman) co-produced the project.
In my opinion, this was a great step in amping up the already upbeat, melodic Run Kid Run sound. The middle of the song breaks down with just bass and a slower tempo as Curtis repeats “living like it’s gonna be our last hurrah,” reminding us all that we never know when our last day will come, so we should make the most of the time we have.
“Back To The Basics” is the band’s first single and it’s no wonder why. With a catchy melody and truth laden lyrics, the song challenges listeners to never allow busy lives to interfere with what’s most important. Curtis sings “I’ve gotta get back to the basics now, I’m running circles, there’s only one way out,” realizing the only way to break the cycle we find ourselves in is to “get back to the basics.” And as the bridge says: “It’s now or never, no more wasting time,” the best time to do that is now.
Co-written by The Almost’s Aaron Gillespie, “Someway Somehow” has a different sound with more rock and less pop. The guitars are grittier and the tempo fluctuates, giving a darker vibe than most other songs on the album. Curtis desperately sings, “I need you now, and I know somehow, gonna find you out, I’ll follow you all over,” determined to find God even in the dark, cold places. Gillespie even provides some guest vocals on a few lines, adding some color to the vocal arrangement.
“Promise” is one of those songs that comes from the heart and speaks to the heart. Curtis has an honest conversation with God asking, “Why do I do what I hate?... pushing away is easier than change, but you promise to wait.” All of us can relate to those times when we struggle with doing what we know God is asking of us. Lovingly, God answers, “You’ve always been the man I gave to this world,” reminding us and Curtis that everything we’re supposed to be is already inside us – we just need to allow God to use it.
Also co-written by Aaron Gillespie, “Rely On Her” adds another dose of rock to the normal pop sound of Run Kid Run. The song speaks of allowing the world to dictate what we value and getting lost in what’s truly significant in this life. Realizing he’s allowed the world to infiltrate, Curtis exclaims, “If this is me then I’m backing out, if this is all then I’m getting out!” Instead of spending time chasing after what God wants, Curtis admits, “I took the time to rely on a world that doesn’t satisfy.” This is a temptation we all have to continually fight against.
“War Is Over” is a song of hope, knowing that while there are battles we are called to fight every day, the war itself is over. We are no longer prisoners and we can be free in what God has done: “Victory is ours, He’s got the battle scars.” Though the entire song is upbeat and full of energy, the last lines are sung to the tune of a carousel, “Carry on, carry on, on to the grave, strength to engage the battle that rages on,” reminding us that though the war is won, the battles still remain.
Closing Thoughts: For anyone who’s tired of the routine their life has become and is genuinely ready for change, this record is for you. Each song breathes new life into what we’ve allowed to become stagnant and serves as an anthem for all wanting to rekindle the fire which once burned so bright. Above all, Run Kid Run is a band who practices what they preach and strives to make music that glorifies God while speaking truth to their fans.
“While we always like it when a record gets good reviews, it’s wonderful to know that a simple three chord song had an effect on someone’s life, either faith-wise or just to help them get through the day,” Curtis says. Here’s to hoping Run Kid Run never breaks the pattern of making great music.
4.5/5| Posted November 11, 2011
It's been three years since the last Run Kid Run album, Love At the Core, released. For fans, that long wait was agonizing as we hoped to hear word of a new album in the works. The wait is over as the band gives us their latest effort Patterns. Right off the bat you'll notice that all the elements of what make the band great are still intact, but it all feels different somehow. Like they took there time to grow and develop. Yes, the Run Kid Run you know and love are still present but they have clearly progressed their sound enough to appeal to a wide range of new listeners. With this new progression in sound, the tracks still have the fun pop/punk feel from previous albums.
Run Kid Run took their time in making Patterns but the effort really pays off. They manage to progress their sound while still keeping their old sound fairly intact. Not many bands can do that well which makes Patterns a unique and fun listen.