San Francisco punk newcomers, Tess & The Details, have unleashed their debut album, ‘Runaway’, with unbridled intensity. The album kicks off with the spirited punch of “Blondie’s Gonna Die,” delivering a swift one minute and 37 seconds of traditional punk energy. Drawing from inspirations like Alkaline Trio and Bad Religion, Tess & The Details add a refreshing twist of Dookie-era Green Day, making this opener feel like some type of raucous, punk rock drinking song. The drums emerge as the instant champion of the album, a role they maintain throughout the entire listen.
The momentum seamlessly transitions into the debut single, “Canary,” a perfect follow-up to the opener. If “Blondie’s Gonna Die” is the hook, “Canary” is the buzzing tune that hypnotizes and pulls you deeper into Runaway’s ethos. It marks a strong start to the album, showcasing the band’s prowess in crafting infectious melodies.
The title track, “Runaway,” subtly steers away from traditional punk, embracing anthemic and theatrical deliveries reminiscent of 2000s rock/emo. My Chemical Romance undertones and Paramore choruses echo through this track, with potent drum fills adding an extra layer of energy and excitement, especially in the middle before the guitar solo.
The My Chemical Romance influence persists in “Take A Number,” featuring chunky bass, driving drums, and Tess Stevens’ versatile vocals. Her voice effortlessly navigates between bouncing melodies and belting proclamations, making each track a deliberate showcase of her vocal range.
“Unnatural Disaster” introduces a slightly poppier rock sound to Runaway, strategically placed in the middle for a refreshing change of pace. This track brings a brighter tone and dance-worthy energy to even the punkest of listener. Tess & The Details continue to explore this brighter punk theme in “Mania,” keeping the energy high and infectious, especially on the chorus.
“Johnny” stands out as a highlight for me, prominently featuring the remarkable drumming that I’ve consistently praised throughout this review. Drummer Gideon Berger truly showcases his skills on this track, employing interesting timing with moments of choppy and clunky rhythms that somehow work seamlessly for him and the rest of the band. The somewhat pop chorus adds an extra layer, bringing it all together and creating a track that’s both intricate and undeniably catchy.
Closing with “No Grave,” Tess & The Details pivot to a darker, grungier rock groove, fully abandoning the poppier side showcased earlier. This final track delivers a more intense and classic rock-inspired solo, leaving listeners with a lasting impression of the band’s musical range and prowess.
In 'Runaway', Tess & The Details pay homage to punk’s roots while fearlessly exploring diverse influences. From unrelenting drumbeats to Tess’s commanding vocals, each track contributes to a dynamic, engaging, and overall impressive debut album. It’s a collection that seamlessly blends genres, nodding to punk’s legacy while making a bold statement about their unique identity.
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"'Runaway' a gritty, character-driven punk manifesto full of anthemic tracks and dark, witty narratives"
New Noise magazine: https://newnoisemagazine.com/news-tess-the-details-drop-debut-single-canary/
Signal Chords: https://www.facebook.com/signalchords/videos/311010885003437
The Punk Rock Museum: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=693076786176853&set=a.440816124736255
Soundwaves TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgM2HMQYqes