Lately I've become quite convinced that Bristol five piece The Run Up have found a way to stop time. Since releasing their superb debut self titled full length last year, they seem to have been endlessly on tour. To my great surprise, they've also found the time to write and record a brand new EP – set for release on 28th September through Real Ghost Records and Uncle M Music. Named Good Friends, Bad Luck, it's based around a theme of making the best out of bad situations and the strong bonds of friendship that grow due to these predicaments.
Good Friends, Bad Luck starts off with a short instrumental track of the same name. This serves as a great introduction for the EP as it shows off what is now becoming The Run Up's signature sound. It all leads brilliantly into the next song, The Upside Of Being Down. This is the EP's leading song and a fantastic music video was made with The Run Up just having the best time together as great friends. That's what the song is about – getting out and having amazing times with your best friends. The Run Up have this great skill in writing songs that I immediately want to sing along to. This song is catchy enough that it's not long before I'm singing my heart out with lead singer Larry and the rest of the guys in the band. The gang vocal "whoa-ohs" that lead into the song's ending add a bit of atmosphere into the song, making it feel extra emotional and making you believe that the band mean every single one of these words. The third song, Captain, starts off at a great pace with guitarists Charlie and Laurence laying down some great riffs. It's another track that has me wanting to sing along straight away. This might be to do with the superb way that the band make use of gang vocals and harmonies for a big portion of the song. For me, this type of gruff pop punk is at its very best when the whole band are singing together – I find it allows me to connect to the band a lot quicker.
The fourth track, titled Etherial Ghost, sees The Run Up holding things back slightly musically to allow Larry's vocal to really have centre stage. The song is about the struggles of life in a DIY punk band and trying to play shows and tours around having a normal life and it being great to be able to do it with your best friends. The song puts that kind of life into perspective and does make me think that we perhaps we take for granted the struggles and sacrifices people in bands make to come and entertain us. The fifth and final track on Good Friends, Bad Luck is named Sick Days and is the perfect way to finish the EP. From Daniel and Harry's superb rhythm section, Charlie and Laurence's guitars and Larry's vocals, as well as more brilliant gang vocals and harmonies, the whole track is layered to perfection. I'm constantly hearing little things that I love that I didn't hear on my previous listen. The gang vocals make the song feel huge and it just continues to build and build throughout the song. It feels like it will be a massive sounding song if it were played in a small pub show or at an academy or arena show.
Good Friends, Bad Luck is The Run Up's strongest release to date. It's perhaps their most mature release so far and definitely their most focussed. The band have had some terrible luck on tour this year with broken down vans but have managed to turn all the stress that comes with that into a positive with this absolutely brilliant release. Who knows, if the bad luck hadn't happened would we have got this EP of the year contender?
Pre-order Good Friends, Bad Luck here: http://www.realghostrecords.com/products/623969-the-run-up-good-friends-bad-luck
Like The Run Up here: https://www.facebook.com/therunupuk/
This review was written by Colin Clark.