From Berlin, Germany, the Rooftop Runners released their EP: "We Are Here" on April 3rd, 2012.
Here's my mix of thoughts on the album, in no particular order.
The reverse guitars, and minimalistic sounds from their song "Streets" are really quite a treat to listen to. I particularly enjoy the low, almost accidental (But obviously on purpose) feel of the bass as it rumbles away at the bottom of the verse.
The music video for this track is somewhat interesting as well. The use of indie DSLR camera's in this are incredibly prevalent, and some of the same shots do tend to get a bit old, it's still an enjoyable track all around.
I found that some of the tracks ('Streets' especially) could have used some more variety in the song. I understand when you compare them with a band like, "The Weeknd" for example, who still doesn't have a large amount of variety (and often not even a chorus) in their songs, then who am I to be saying that they could use some more variety in their mix?
I believe that it is those subtle little details; changes to the mix, added notes and vocal hooks, extra instruments (Or changes in instruments) that allows a band like The Weeknd or James Blake to have the same verse over and over again, yet it still doesn't get boring.
Rooftop Runners still have this skill to learn, but they are on their way.
I feel that I can somewhat predict many of the things that might come next (start with a bass drum kicking, and then slowly add in more instruments every 2 bars). I would like it if that sort of predictability were not prevalent in this album (although sometimes it can work in your favour to be like this, I don't feel like it's the case).
But alas, certain things really shine through in this EP. The opening guitar tone on "Energize" is really pleasant to listen to, but the lack of variety hurts the overall song.
I suppose my main complaint comes from a lack of depth in the music.
Don't get me wrong though, it definitely has it's upsides. I found the EP to be quite an original piece of work (probably a 3.5/5 on Originality), it was just lacking depth (As said earlier) that I would expect from a more experienced or foundational artist.
The small bit of organ that is showcased at the end of Energize really had a nice taste to it, I would like to hear some more of that in future releases.
The vocals in this whole EP are very, very crisp though. They are often smooth, well recorded, and well sung. You can hear the best of this on the track "Bang Bang", along with a very fulfilling electronic drum sample set.
Use certain bass elements of Dubstep (leaning towards the western hemisphere), they actually manage to make a fading triplet bass riff sound not cheesy, imagine that!
I think a problem that I have with some of the guitars (although they have a great tone), I find the riffs to be somewhat boring. Now that isn't a crime within itself, as backing guitar can often be useful in creating a great feeling beat. The crime I see is when that type of stuff is blatantly featured (you know, like it's interesting enough to stand on it's own).
I'm stuck between two opposing idea's here though, because I could have a problem with it for that reason, but perhaps the song is better off (I'm referring to 'she devil' now) when you allow the extra space in the arrangement for the slightly boring guitar riff to shine. So I'm undecided as to whether it's good or not, but those are my thoughts.
As I said, I'm struggling for depth in the tunes at the moment. I can see the minimalistic idea's coming through, but I feel that the idea's behind the minimalism are not powerful enough to warrant such minimalism.
That's the danger in it I suppose: If you are insecure (like myself), you might cram as many instruments in there as you can so as to seem more interesting (and it likely will be more interesting), but often the best artists are the ones that do more with less.
In this case? It's a bit less with less, but I still feel that there is potential for the future.
Oh, and there's also some potential for the present too, because there's some enjoyable things shrouded in this EP, just not enough of them for me to give a standing ovation or anything like that.
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.