Middle Distance Runner’s debut album, Plane in Flames, opens with a smile. Naturally (mp3) begins as all breezy melody and beat, catchy as hell, but just when it draws the ear into its lite comforts like any other standard indie pop clap-along record, MDR drops this lyric: “I/I hope she’s got a husband/I hope that he is coming/to find me out and tear out both/my eyes.” And that’s when you really start to listen, and it will hold you enthralled until the very last note.
Out of Here (mp3) sounds like it was born in the space between Pablo Honey and The Bends. The lead guitar caresses, then engulfs you a la Johnny Greenwood, and when lead singer Stephen Kilroy belts “Something’s gotta give/Before it all goes cold/Before it all caves in,” it’s with all the urgency of a more personal, less political Thom Yorke. You feel that early 90's chill when he cries “You are my way out of here.” Yeah, I know, Radiohead comparisons are trite, but just listen.
And if that's a little too much gravity for you, try this soul-stirring rock song with cowbell & banjo, called Shoot the Shit (mp3).
You’re going to hear a lot more of this D.C. area quintet once Plane in Flames hits stores on the 27th of this month. Get it for a mere 5 bucks at their CD release show at IOTA.
Download more at their Myspace.