The Runouts - Pet Noises (Cover Artwork)

The Runouts

Pet Noises (2016)


Pet Noises by The Runouts (not to be confused with the meat puppets album by the same name), is a perfect embodiment of everything I love about punk rock. On the surface, their influences seem fairly easy to pin down, yet upon trying to name a single artist that they take after for the entire record, that facade begins to crumble. The era Pet Noises takes after, however, is very clear: this is textbook 90s melodic skatepunk. From the infectious basslines, to the solid hooks, every one track here sounds like it was pulled straight from one of the early Punk-O-Rama compilations… and I’m a real sucker for that.

This album doesn’t fall back on the usual gimmicks though (The Runouts don’t pull out a d-beat until the closer), but rather strong songwriting and catchy melodies. I guess my biggest problem with this project is that at times it can seem be too familiar. The opener reminds me of that Off With Their Heads’ "Home (Start Walking)," the chorus on "The Bucket" sounds like something that could have come off of Propaghandi’s Less Talk,More Rock, and Feculent Creatures is very reminiscent of some of the more melodic moments from Pears with a layered vocal break during bridge that’s straight from the old school blink-182 playbook. None of this is meant to call out any of these these cuts as ripoffs (they very clearly aren’t) of the aforementioned tracks, but rather a warning that, if you’ve listened to your fair share of skate punk, this record makes the mind frantically search for connections and similarities.

But, in the end, I think that’s also what I like most about this record. The Runouts were able to take the best their influences had to offer, and boil that down to one very solid project. If you’re a fan of NoFX, The Copyrights, Bouncing Souls, Bigwig, Teenage Bottlerocket, or any of the other Epifat bands, don’t miss this. Pet Noises seems is a time capsule buried in 1996, and it’s still a great listen 20 years later.