Album: The Runner (Original Soundtrack)
Artist: Boy Harsher
Label: Nude Club Records
Non-Airable Tracks: N/A
The Runner by Boy Harsher is a wonderful blend of spine-chilling synths, evocative lyricism, and an enticement towards the unknown. This album seems like it would fit perfectly in the background of an Argento or Lynch film. Luckily, Boy Harsher jumped ahead of those comparisons by making The Runner not only a delightful album to listen to, but also a mesmerizing soundtrack for their film “The Runner.”
The distortions and beats throughout all the songs build up a fog that surrounds the album, keeping it as mysterious as the titular runner. Each song shines through with its own distinctive synth-based rhythm and the changes in chord progressions evoke different imagery as you listen through. The album starts off strong in building a clenching atmosphere with the song “The Tower.”
Throughout the album, there is nonetheless an energy that continually drives on through the background. One of my favorite songs is “Just Give Me A Reason,” which has an incredibly catchy synth instrumental backing with an amazing build up towards the end. The song also has so much sensuality tied into it through the lyrics, song composition, and Jae Matthew’s voice.
Another stand out track from the album is Autonomy, which has grown on me over the last few listens. It is a different sound from the other songs on the album and uses much more chipper synths. In the context of the album, it feels like a large deviation from the other more claustrophobic sounds, but the lyrics and the repeating synths in the background still help keep some of the earlier suspense. It feels like the type of song that would be shown right at the start of MTV’s days.
I could talk at length about the combination of synths and percussion beats in some of the more ambient songs, which feel perfect for all the horror imagery they bring to mind such as beating hearts, strange car rides home, and unexpected phone calls. I would fully recommend watching the movie if you’re interested in these sorts of horror visuals. The only drawback to watching the movie is that the order of songs played in the movie is different to the order of the songs compiled in the soundtrack, which changes the listening experience afterwards due to how entangled the music is to the visuals in the movie.
Finally, where would I be if I wasn’t talking about my other favorite track from the album: Machina. This is the song I want to hear whenever I’m out at night. It is perfect to dance to and to sing along to with its easy to remember lyrics and catchy beat. This song can turn any dead, dark room into a dead, dark room that you can dance in.
Overall, I love this album and the accompanying movie. It’s a great introduction to the world of darkwave and independent visual horror movies.
Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇 bats + one set of fangs out of 5
Give Me A Reason
The Ride Home
Reviewer’s Name: Ash Avila
Date of Review: 4/26/2022