Run, Forever - The Devil, and Death, and Me (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Run, Forever

The Devil, and Death, and Me (2010)


Looks like the Menzingers have got company. Fellow Pennsylvania punkers Run, Forever dropped The Devil, and Death, and Me late last year, and much like Chamberlain Waits, it drips with all the passion associated with the Clash/Billy Bragg playbook. Tunes like "A Sequence of Sad Events", "When It Won't Leave" and "Graves" pulse with power and energy.

Frontman/guitarist Anthony Heubel has an Oberstian quality to his singing, and I mean in that in ways both complimentary and critical. His style is raw to the point of quavering. When he digs into a topic, his imagery hits hard. Opener "A Sequence of Sad Events", about the death of close friend Corey James Wolfram, to whom the album is dedicated, feels like a gut punch. At the same time, cavalcades of words spew out of Heubel without cadence. It works on "Sequence" because of the pain, but songs like "The Grand Illusion" suffer from a lack of grace. I know this is punk rock and all, but these feel like mad rants.

Still, at 34 minutes in length, Devil could hardly be called bloated. Run, Forever just add a few Saddle Creek touches to their punk, which means they might garner comparisons to Anti-Flag but are secretly like Cursive. Devil is full of youthful energy, but it's a concept album of sorts about growing up and the people who get left behind. It's folk punk obsessed with death, but it sounds very much alive.