Slow dread goth pop.
‘Seven Years of Silence’ literally took seven years to make for 1st Base Runner. The Austin based artist said that he has tried to suppress his ideas for a while and then spent a few years slowly cultivating them. The end result is a murky, industrialised goth-pop machine. Heavy on oppressive synths, drum machines and fuzzy guitars. Fans of darkwave and industrial pop will feel at home in the sadness.
I’ll be honest in saying it took me a few listens to gel with the album. I knew it’d click eventually but it took me a while to get there. I think it is because the album is brief without smashing hooks at you left and right to keep you entertained. Some of the drum loops are purposefully cheap sounding. It gives the album a seedy Soft Cell vibe without the pop edge or the immediately catch hooks. When you pair that with the fact that some of the tracks are more industrial ambience with an atonal edge, it makes it a little difficult to pick where to start. Once I tuned my ears into the shoegazing guitars, lyrics and synths instead – the music clicked and I was into it.
Standout tracks for me are ‘All Thoughts’ with its tippy-toe synth verses and shoegazing choruses, the oppressive goth march ‘Ocean’ and the darkwave beauty of ‘Break Even’. With these three tracks, 1st Base Runner shows versatility and a knack for creating a musical slow dread. Fans of Seeming will be immediately at home here with some of the more expressive vocal performances. When everything is firing on all cylinders, it works very well. Some of the other tracks such as ‘Some Reasons’ and ‘Only One’ feel more like collages of ideas and sounds that don’t feel quite as well fleshed out. I feel like that is probably part of their appeal but I personally preferred 1st Base Runner putting all their instruments onto home run attack.
There are some interesting ideas here and 1st Base Runner definitely has a lot of avenues to explore in the future. I just hope he doesn’t wait another seven years and lets his creativity flow abound instead.