Rum Runner What's The Music Mean To You?

Taking much of its influence from the likes of the Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, et al., folk-influenced punk rock (twangy electric guitars, lots of acoustic sing-alongs and more vocals than killer riffs) is vastly divergent from, say, psychobilly. But the two are victims of similar issues because as each genre has become so specialized, there are very few ways in which a band can grow, experiment or even blossom without losing their status in the scene, or become a train wreck. Calgary's Rum Runner have been avoiding this issue for the past eight years by ensuring they scavenge any possible elements of street punk, rock and upbeat country that haven't been run into a rut by their particular scene, a process they manage to maintain with this 12-track tertiary effort. Strong, enthusiastic and upbeat, it rolls along like a flat-black '20s hi-boy: loud, proud and kind of retro in a kitschy way. And while this album isn't going to overwhelm the unwitting into embracing folk punk, at least it gives those mired in the centre of it something fresh to enjoy. (Stumble)