Runaway Nuns - Spit (Cover Artwork)

Runaway Nuns

Spit (2020)

Now Now Just Now

“Garage Rock” is seemingly immortal. Over the past 60 years, the genre has gone through wave after wave of creativity and popularity. Just when it seems to have run its course, a new generation takes up the flag and brings it back to life. Even since its earliest incarnation, the sound has always had a universal appeal, with freaks and weirdos from all around the world drawn to its primitive energy.

Runaway Nuns have been playing their own interpritation of Garage Rock from their home town of Cape Town, South Africa for the past five years. With each release, they’ve gotten closer and closer to reaching their full potential. 2019’s “Holy Collusion” was a solid entry but it left a bit of room for growth. Barely a year later, “Spit” is a testament to that growth.

On “Spit”, the Nuns have never sounded better. From a production perspective, they have finally found the perfect balance between acommodating their psych tendencies while still fully capturing that rowdy punk roar.

Despite a banging opener (“Lately”), the first half of the album is made up of a bloc of mid-tempo rockers. While not the most rambunctious, the slower songs do a great job showcasing how strong the Nuns’ songwriting has gotten, even compared to last year’s “Holy Collusion”. Tracks like “Antenna” and “Bless My Baby” highlight a knack for balancing smooth melodies with rough edges.

“Spit” finally opens up the pit with the rollicking “Try Me”. Frantic guitar work and a manic rhythm section ensure that this will become a staple of their already wild live show. The energy of “Try Me” bleeds over into “Hanging”. Led by frontman Sean Baron’s perfectly gruff vocals, “Hanging” is a perfect punk sing-along.

The rest of the record plays out fast and strong but ends with what just might be the Nuns’ magnum opus. “Getting Old” is the band at its absolute best. Everything is on point; the melody, the beat, the guitars, the composition.

“Getting Old” - and “Spit” in general - are a perfect tribute to the longevity of garage rock. A sound so primitive and primordial can never go out of style as long as bands like Runaway Nuns emerge to fill its sails. Whether your reference point is The Kinks, The Hives, Nobunny, or all of the above, “Spit” will leave a smile on your face.