It happens every year: magazines run pieces proclaiming ‘the rebirth of British guitar music’. It doesn’t need to be reborn; just because it’s largely ceased to trouble the charts doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dead. Besides, you know the mainstream is in trouble when the bands spearheading the so-called revival are The Vaccines and Viva Brother. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find that, far from being terminal, the traditional band setup of guitar, bass, drums and vocals has plenty of life left in it. In fact, some would say it’s in rude health.
It’s not hard to see why some would reach this conclusion when a band like Runaround Kids are involved. Their kind of music has been done before, and no doubt will again, but in such a scenario it’s always what a band does with what they’ve got that makes the most difference and helps them to stand out. The Wakefield band throw a number of different influences into the mix, and end up with something quite refreshing. Pavement-esque noise rock? Check. A little bit of Johnny Foreigner here and there? Yes, definitely; ‘Falling Into Better Hands’ could have fit on ‘Waited Up Til It Was Light’ with no difficulty whatsoever. There are other reference points too, but the band are about as far from being in thrall to their influences as could be imagined.
The album’s sound is such that it’s able to sound full-bodied without feeling in any way polished; case in point is the title track which absolutely drips with passion and drive, proving that there is much more to the band than immediately meets the eye, or indeed, ear. The trio hail from Wakefield, so already find themselves in good company. The Cribs started there, and look what they’ve become now. This album definitely hints at this lot following a similar career trajectory. ‘Linked Arms’ is not a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, more like ‘let’s make a few changes and see what we get’. It does, and there’s absolutely no doubt that bigger and better things await. You could say they’ve found ‘A Way That Works’.