Rooftop Runners – We Are Here EP

Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Reviewed By Evelyn Miska Krieger

Rooftop Runners’ We Are Here EP is a quick taste of what the duo is all about. Although they are currently located in Berlin, the group originally hails from Canada. However, their overall sound is a blend of influences. Although there are shifts throughout the four tracks, the prevailing mood is simply creepy and while there are moments where that darkness lessens, this isn’t a collection that ever really lightens up.

“Streets” falls headlong down that proverbial rabbit hole first created by bands like Mazzy Star and the like. Yes, there’s a lot of electronica going on there, but it’s kept fairly subtle so the vocals can stand out over it all. It may not be a track to cheer you up after a bad day, but it’s the perfect song for wallowing in your misery, and sometimes that is necessary. “Energize” may pick up the tempo a little bit, but don’t mistakenly think that this means the sun has come out. Still very much on the dark side, the track nevertheless demonstrates that Rooftop Runners aren’t just a one trick pony with the addition of piano, layered vocals and a variety of other effects.

“Bang Bang” pulls things back to that grim place but find yet a third way of maintaining their sound without repeating too much. The highly blues-based guitar in the first 1:30 make it come across as something a highly modern Johnny Cash might have come up with and even though the layered electronic effects come in as the song progresses, it still works even with an industrial trip-hop thing happening. “She Devil” goes more of the rock route with it’s guitar riff that quietly powers the track along. Again, there’s good use of vocal harmonies that have just the right amount of lazy swagger to give the song some street cred.

It’s a brief jaunt through the world of Rooftop Runners, but they manage to show their strengths and ability to create variations on what they do well without it becoming repetitive. If these four songs are anything to base things on, it should be quite interesting to see what this duo comes up with next.

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