Jeff Runnings is usually busy working with his group For Against, but he’s taken some time out to make his solo debut under his own name, Primitives and Smalls. Shiny synth-pop with an 80’s feel is the name of the game, and Runnings is a pro at it. The album is released by Saint Marie as a CD and limited edition of 250 LPs.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 14 April 2016
I can only do a small review of this as I don't have access to many of the tracks and I don't want to prize open the lovely vinyl. Runnings is the leader of long running (ha!) US post punk/shoegaze collective For Against and this I believe (might be wrong) is his first solo album. He's moved into an '80s electronic pop direction but unlike many of the modern day protagonists this somehow sounds from the era and not just copying the era. From the sounds of 'Outside Oslo' sounds like a Pet Shop Boys who have been relocated to the bleak, flat plains of the American mid west. It's superbly evocative with tremendous songwriting. I'm also listening to a track called 'Travelogue' which despite a thin reedy voice is another perfectly replicated slab of dark synth pop.
I'm sitting on the fence with a 7 until I hear more but this is certainly going to appeal to fans of the scarier electronic things that were shown on the nascent MTV.
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