Run and Punch - The Uppercut EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Run and Punch

The Uppercut EP (2011)


Run and Punch makes no bones about being a ska band. On The Uppercut EP the group tears out of the gate with blasting horns and upstrokes a-plenty. But, while there are loads of bands that competently rock the third wave style, Run and Punch supplement their sound with a few tricks that show they have real promise.

While the sound is firmly based in the Less Than Jake, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and early No Doubt range, the band avoids the common criticism that ska is too thin-sounding. The band supplements their skipping beats and blasting horns with an organ that gives their high energy attack some interior soul. Also, as the EP progresses, the act isn't shy to use a raw guitar sound, that at times, shifts from punk chopping to hardcore thrashing, and at other times, almost inhabits a crust punk intonation.

Vocalist Laura Camacho is the element that seems to draw the whole unit together. While her voice is youthful and upbeat, at times, she stretches out her pipes and comes close to blues or (Jamaican) reggae territory. Her deeper and softer calls are highlighted by her lyrics which, despite the album's sunny sound, sometimes cover tragic and even goth territory, creating an interesting contrast.

However, the band's expertise in the third wave sound also seems to hold them back. Certainly, they can kick out rapid jumpers that liven up the dance floor, but at times, the adrenaline seems to cover the inherent depth that the band has underneath. Focusing on the the band's heavier, and deeper aspects, in addition to keeping their more rocking tunes, would give the band a more rounded sound, and let them stand out from the pack. In parts, it's a shame to let the clever lyrics and multi-textured rhythm section get washed away when the speed isn't necessary. The band has soul, they just need to trust themselves to let it out.