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Run Screaming

Slow Gherkin

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Album Review

No one can accuse Slow Gherkin of cranking out the product: Ten years after the band was formed by a bunch of Santa Cruz high school students, they're just getting around to their third album. But Run Screaming was worth the wait. Drawing deeply on the band's longstanding soul, ska, and classic rock influences, it finds them singing mature lyrics about love, family, and adulthood over well-crafted (but never suffocatingly tight) arrangements that balance nice chord charts with meat-and-potatoes guitar rock. "He's Gotta Go" starts things off with a nice high-energy romantic kissoff before "11:47" brings in the Armed Forces-era Elvis Costello influence. Things get really fun on the Northern soul celebration "Baby Snake" and also on "Pretty (In a Pretty Sort of Way)," during which guitarist and singer James Rickman manages to spoof "My Funny Valentine" while coining the term "pornographable." Rickman could probably hit those notes instead of swiping at them if he wanted to, but the fact that he doesn't even try seems appropriate somehow. If you're starting to suspect that there may be a bit more to life than punk rock but aren't completely convinced yet and want to hedge your bets, start here.

Biography

Formed: 1993

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

With their third-wave influence of hyper-active ska-punk that the likes of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Operation Ivy first debuted, Slow Gherkin wanted to bring their own playful style of this genre to their native Santa Cruz, California. But like most ska-punk bands who's over crowded line-up could have the tendency to out number the audience, Slow Gherkin were also cursed with a revolving line-up since their 1994 debut; a line up that at one point featured ten members. Despite Slow Gherkin's...
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Run Screaming, Slow Gherkin
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