Runaway Sun

There's a languid viscosity to Runaway Sun's sound, and it pours out thick and strong on the Houston four-piece's debut album, The Bridge. Some of that comes from the tendency toward mid-tempo songs, but the real topper is the interplay of Andrew Karnavas's vocals and Daniel de Luna's lead guitar lines. Karnavas's approach is laid-back and conversational, occasionally bearing an almost beat-poet cadence. For de Luna's part, his leads are sinuous and agile, with legato phrasing lending a smoothness to even his most acrobatic passages. Many of his parts are reminiscent of Robert Quine and Richard Lloyd's work with power-pop prince Matthew Sweet, particularly in the way they effortlessly weld elements of blues, pop, country and rock into a cohesive, arresting sound. Runaway Sun manages to do the same throughout the album, also finding time to inject a bit of playfulness in the way genres are mixed and played off one another. Most striking is the one-two punch that starts the album, with the dark, grungy blues of "Bad Bad Man" played off the bright punch of "Lovebite," whose rhythm guitar and rim-shot drumming cheekily allude to Chris Isaak's "Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing."

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