Run Forever Settling

Pop punk has always maintained a very strong collective approach; it's a genre littered with tales of teenage woe and apprehension towards the impending doom and gloom of adulthood. You could label the genre predictable, but that would overlook some of the artists and bands that have succeeded in giving their coming-of-age tales significant weight, both sonically and lyrically. Run Forever, a Pittsburgh-based trio, showcase an unabashed heart-on-sleeve approach. Themes of paranoia and general unrest fill the record, manifested in concise and agreeable, crashing pop punk. Never is Settling aggravating, though Anthony Heubel's vocals verge on whiny, from time to time, especially on the acoustic-heavy "Braddock Beach." Still, Settling works best when it acknowledges its purpose: fist-pumping, poppy anthems for the kids to emphatically sing along to. "Postcards" is one of the punchier numbers, and Run Forever have benefitted from their inexhaustible touring ethic. The cohesion on the record is obvious, though just as apparent are many of the clichés they espouse. Run Forever aren't happy with their surroundings and their frustration is palpable. On Settling, they've moved on from the general boredom and apathy of their debut, The Devil, And Death, And Me, and it's reflected in the oft-razor sharp numbers, such as opener "Good Enough." While they haven't yet hit the emotional maturity that can be reflected in their songwriting, we can't assume a band like Run Forever ever will. (Tiny Engines)