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Run With the Hunted: The Sieve and the Sand

I remember reading Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451 sometime during my childhood. I think I had to read it for school. Unlike most books that were assigned to me, I actually wanted to read this one. I found it fascinating. In some ways, I've never forgotten it, especially how scared I felt to think about a world with no books. I only mention this because the title for this album actually comes from the name of part II of that novel. This album is not developing a concept around the book, but the connection is still cool. I couldn't help but notice that several of the other tracks on this album (I have a copy of the lyrics) draw on themes from other writers, most notably Simone de Beauvoir and Jose Ortega y Gasset. I like it when bands make literary inspiration explicit. I like to read and to listen to music, so why not get some book recommendations from musicians?

Run With the Hunted has received plenty of acclaim for their prior work. Even though this is my first exposure to the band, I think I can understand why. The band creates intelligent and provocative punk music, the kind that pushes listeners to consider some very uncomfortable questions. Good punk doesn't need to do that, but some of the best bands do stir listeners to consider the problems facing contemporary society, the abuse of power being one of the most common themes. This band does all that and more. At times, I thought the lyrics were especially developing the theme of despair, the feeling that there is very little to live for and that the only thing of value is to resist the possibility of meaninglessness. I could be wrong, but there's definitely a tension here between nihilism and optimism (at least optimism in a punk-infused mood).

As for the music, it's basically contemporary hardcore played with the occasional twist. I admired this band's power and strength of expression. Although I was perhaps more fascinated with the lyrics and the thematic elements of the album, the music carried it effectively. Check out "St. David" and the title track on this one for sure. "Red Queen" was also pretty great if slightly overly insistent on the idea that "we could be so much more." Yes, I suppose we can.

Track Listing:
1. Silent Spring
2. Over the Footbridge
3. Line of Dissent
4. Red Queen
5. Mea Culpa
6. St. David
7. The Sieve and the Sand

Added: August 18th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: band website
Hits: 1585
Language: english

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