Arliss Nancy - Wild American Runners (Cover Artwork)

Arliss Nancy

Arliss Nancy: Wild American RunnersWild American Runners (2013)
Black Numbers

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: BazBaz
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Imagery is a cool thing for music to evoke, and certain bands make me imagine certain things. Within the first few seconds of first hearing Arliss Nancy a few years ago, I immediately pictured a log cabin, roaring fire, whisky being sipped and tales of woe being shared. My kinda thing. Wild American.
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Imagery is a cool thing for music to evoke, and certain bands make me imagine certain things. Within the first few seconds of first hearing Arliss Nancy a few years ago, I immediately pictured a log cabin, roaring fire, whisky being sipped and tales of woe being shared. My kinda thing. Wild American Runners is the latest offering from AN and picks up the mantle from 2009's Simple Machines just perfectly, rolling into a new chapter with ease. Where Simple Machines made year-end lists and had a collection of great songs, one small criticism was that it possibly lacked true flow or a unifying theme to link each song. Runners has remedied that, giving the listener a true feel of what's driving these songs and what's making this band create such great music. Road weariness, lost loves and the endless searching for answers at the bottom of a bottle.

The overriding feeling I get from Arliss Nancy songs is that they mean this shit, that there is a beautiful sounding fire burning in the throat of Cory Call, complemented to the fore by Kyle "GB" Oppold to give the perfect delivery of this subject matter. The closing lines of "Troubadour" blend perfectly with the opening of "Nathaniel" to set the scene of where these guys are at right now -

"She wanted so much more than a piece of shit like me, and I cant say I blame her, I led her to believe but I've been trying so long, just to find my way back home, but my home ain't there anymore"

"My blood's been thin for too damn long, whisky and gin and old sad songs about the girls I never had and the ones ain't coming back"

It's hard to not be captivated by Call's tone or not be drawn into every scene he is painting. The twinkling keys of Chris Love and the bright, warm guitars played and produced by Jason Larson bring out the best of what these guys can do on songs like "Nothing to Show" and "Both Got Old," which rolls seamlessly into "Hold It Together," a song with a definite nod to the melody of "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley. It fits great and using small exerpts from their peers is something I have seen these guys do live also, a far more fitting tribute to influences than most can muster.

"Coals" is a personal highlight, the lyrical content just hits like a gut shot -

"Late at night when my 4 chord salvation came pouring through my radio dials, I sat in the dark and I smoked as we passed over miles. Fuck, I held so close the perfume of her ghost, Drawn like a moth into her flame, and I dont think im ever gonna change"

It's the heart and soul of a band completely at ease with where they are, and are more than happy to pull up some more chairs to the table and offer these tales over whatever poison you care to share with them.

Stirring title track "Wild American Runners" and "The GB Shuffle" lead the way into the closing number "Vonnegut," which not only serves as the end to this fantastic record but also sounds like its describing the end of the particular chapter of life that has just closed

- "So I sold all my shit, I'm leaving Colorado, I dont think I'll miss it anymore"

It's often at our weakest where the greatest inspiration is drawn, and Arliss Nancy draw on what has affected them most over the past year, crafting a record that will speak to the soul you may thought you had lost to woes just like these. At times beautiful, always captivating, with a spirit as strong as the booze that's probably coating their throats tonight, this is a truly great record deserving of far more attention than it may get. "Vonnegut" rounds this all of so well with Call lamenting -

"It just hurt so goddamn bad for me to be around it so I did my best to just stay somewhere else.
But when I come back around it always breaks my goddamn heart,
to see you out with your new man in the booth that we called ours,
everything was beautiful and nothing hurt"

Wild American Runners had molded AN into a force you probably won't be able to ignore for much longer, nor should you. Highly recommended.


People who liked this also liked:
Red City Radio - TitlesThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsElway - LeavetakingCaptain, We're Sinking - The Future Is CancelledWorship This! - Tomorrow, I'll Miss YouThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Flatliners - CavalcadeRed City Radio - The Dangers of Standing StillElway - DelusionsBanner Pilot - Heart Beats Pacific

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
theratface (March 26, 2014)

best dudes

notfeelingcreative (February 4, 2014)

Love this band.

notfeelingcreative (February 4, 2014)

Love this band.

kevdynamite (October 22, 2013)

most fun band out there and the best album of the year. not enough space in this tiny box to explain how much i love these dudes and the music they make.

kidgotham (October 22, 2013)

Straight up, one of the best records of this year.

staceyfitz (October 19, 2013)

So handsome

lostcausegiveup (October 18, 2013)

Holy SHIT, how did I not hear this band before? I'm so glad I got back online, fucking awesome.

Make_Way (October 18, 2013)

This band keeps churning out quality material. So damn good.

ashleylt3 (October 18, 2013)

I thought you peaked with simple machines, I was wrong you peaked here. Keep Peaking!

davewilliams (October 18, 2013)

This is a good record and these guys are great rockers.

dannydeadhack (October 18, 2013)

Man! So good! Y'all outdid yourselves this time!

slymer (October 18, 2013)

Awesome album, great band, fuck yeah!

theproblemwithfieri (October 18, 2013)

Vonnegut is the best alt-country song I've ever heard. This album is focused, thematically tight, and beautifully dark. Big ups for these big girls.

party-animal (October 18, 2013)

Josh, are you comparing Arliss Nancy to a sort of..alt-country Voltron?

eatbicycles (October 18, 2013)

Crushed it!

veganboyjosh (October 18, 2013)

Wish more hands were half this good.

The songs are solid on their own but sequenced together as album they become much much more than the sum of their parts. Which is pretty much how I would describe the members of and the band itself.

dante3000 (October 18, 2013)

Want this, now!

party-animal (October 18, 2013)

Can't say enough good about this record or these swell, sexy dudes. I love it. Great album, awesome review.

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