Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Weight of the World

Fur Patrol – The Long Distance Runner EP

It's been quite some time since we last heard from these guys. After their (quite successful) first album (Pet) they moved to Australia and dropped out of existence for a few years. They reappeared with a new album, Collider, proclaimed they were back with a vengeance, toured a little and then went back to Australia and dropped out of existence for a few years. Now they're back (sadly missing a guitarist) with this new EP, to be followed by a new album in a few months.

Collider was a deliberately hard rocking reaction to the poppiness of Pet (particularly their teenybopper friendly single 'Lydia'. I've never seen a band grow to hate one of their own songs so much) but while the two albums differed greatly in style they both shared a very maudlin, almost gothic, atmosphere. In contrast Long Distance Runner has a light and sweet mood that they haven't shown much of in the past (there's nothing even remotely like 'Man In A Box' or 'Someone You Really Want' to be found here...). Julia's vocals are in full pop splendour, with plenty of ooohings and aaaahings and not a sour or angry note to be found. Despite the changes the music is as wonderful as ever. On the surface it is straight up Kiwi rock (they more or less epitomise the term for me) but there's no other band that sounds quite like them, and there's always something interesting or original to love about every song they write.

It's great that these guys are finally releasing new music and touring again. It's hard to guess what the new album will sound like based just on these four songs, but I can't wait to hear it all the same.

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