Kent pop-punk/emo quartet Red Light Runner are a rare find. Describing themselves as “old man emo pop punk” who are reliving their youth, their sound is spot on. Channeling bands such as The Gaslight Anthem and Jimmy Eat World, they certainly push a lot of younger bands to the sides with their bouncy infectious guitar-led music.
Originally forming in 2006 and disbanding two years later, Red Light Runner went through a renaissance last year. The double single release of Just Might Find/Lucky Thirteen is the result and if you love melodic pop-punk with a Brit twist, you’ll love it.
Just Might Find opens with a strong thumping drum and a singing riff before singer Dan comes in. The chorus is earworm quality with a hook that nestles into your head, accompanied by emo lyrics and fierce guitar lines. The atmospheric break where the instruments die down and Dan is left to sing into a muted guitar throb before the final chorus push is perfect for capturing a live crowd. It’s young, fresh and sits comfortably with the best pop-punks of the 00s from which Red Light Runner originally came.
Lucky Thirteen is kicked off with metallic guitar bursts and a humming melody. Echoes of the first lines of the verses seem to be a motif that they’ve adopted and it’s fitting with their genre. This song is slightly more chilled than Just Might Find but still has that power driving it. The guitars work hard on this track and bring another energetic pop-rock creation. The crashing of instruments give it a great live track as it’s a true party anthem that wouldn’t be out of place on a teen movie soundtrack.
Although their vocals make them undeniably British, they have that classic authentic American pop-punk sound. Their influences of bands of that ilk is obvious but they are putting their own stamp on it. The fact that this is a band who have risen from the ashes too makes them a little bit more special in my book.