Hardcore isn’t a genre one normally thinks of as ‘far out,’ but Spell Runner have made it work spectacularly. The Albany, New York, quartet play a jangling, joyful form of rock that mixes the angular fury of Fugazi, the cynical swagger of Dead Kennedys, and the string-bending good time of classic surf artists like Dick Dale and The Trashmen into a cinematic sound that’ll have fans bobbing their heads like pigeons on trucker speed.
The band’s debut EP, Always On The Cool, takes this vibe for a long, hard ride. Over seven jocular, fist-swinging tunes, the band take listeners through a drunken brawl at a belly dance, mixing surf rock’s Arabic overtones with hard-edged punk. The music would be utterly Californian if not for the concrete-lined aspects of east-coast hardcore injected throughout. The sonic profile seems to give their name some credence — this comes off like the soundtrack to a sweating dude in an old Caddy showing up at a motel to sell a book of ancient black magic. - Kerrang!
All music written and arranged by Spell Runner, except "Arabian Knights" written by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Recorded and mixed by Ryan Slowey at Tree Walker Audio. Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. Art direction & design by Mathew Bradley. Live photography by Kiki Vassilakis and Ev Osmanovic. Band photography by Erratus Ex.