Immediately reminiscent of The Postal Service, Phiadelphia’s Run Away From The Humans have created a strong sound and style for themselves only after a year of exist. Everything is sequenced and the first track “Wake Up, Wake Up” gains its energy for dreamy vocals and Aeffect-style synthesizers. The synthesizers, played by also-vocalist Jason, are crisp and clean, sounding at times like “Good News-era Modest Mouse, incorporated with a life act. RAFTH continues the dreamy-pop of “Wake Up, Wake Up” with their sophomore track, “We Are”. Jason’s vocals are at parallels to the music on the track, instead of trying to smother the lines like so many other acts. The minor amount of stagnation that RAFTH experience with the first few tracks is wiped away with the dance track “Lost My Way”, seemingly a homage to the early-to-mid nineties sound, pure Very-era Pet Shop Boys and Erasure.
“Lost My Way” does lose its away about halfway into the track, when the repetition created by the synthesizer lines points no way, forcing the re-cast of another line to draw the track to a conclusion. A good track, but “Lost My Way” seems to drag a slight bit, something that a trip to the cutting room might help (if RAFTH wishes to zap about half a minute off of it). The plodding nature of “All That Was Left Were Ashes” mixes together the dreamy-pop that RAFTH have been creating (besides the CDs lone exception from the rule on “Lost My Way”) with the alternative-rock of such larger acts as Counting Crows and Dishwalla. The molasses-slwo opening to “Nuclear Fashion Victims” (which lasts nearly a minute and a half) puts an end to any momentum that the disc had up to its point. RAFTH have an incredibly-difficult goal with only two songs left: to create the wonder that listeners held aftert the first track of “We Exist”.
The lyrical content of “Nuclear Fashion Victims” is rendered in a way in-line with your typical emo act, and the final track “Antartica” opens up as a perfect backdrop for your average rapper (who was influenced by Kraftwerk). However, the extended repetition of the album’s title during the otherwise-instrumental “Antarctica” is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot as one nears the finish line. The disc ends not with a bang, but with a whimper and I know that I’m wondering exactly where the band will go from here.
Top Track: Wake Up, Wake Up
Run Away From The Humans – We Exist / 2004 Self-Released / 6 Tracks / http://www.runawayfromthehumans.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 27 February 2005