Middle Distance Runner, hailing from our very own District of Columbia, released their first[edit: second] full-length album a few weeks ago, so I decided to check it out. MDR has been touring like mad for quite some time, so by the time I listened to The Sun & Earth, I had already heard many of the songs before.
The thing is, I’ve gone to a lot of shows. And heard a lot of songs. But I have to say, these songs stick out in my mind because they are just so darn catchy. And what better test of an album than listening to it in your car and being unable to stop yourself from reaching over and cranking the CRAP out of that volume knob? I almost sprained my wrist, I tell you.
The album starts out with the title track, The Sun & Earth, which did not start out as my favorite, but quickly grew on me. The whole album has excellent sing-along potential, and The Sun & Earth totally wins in that category. Or maybe not.
Other standouts of the album are The Unbeliever, Round Here (which starts out slow but then changes things up around the minute and a half mark and rocks your face off), Brother John, and my personal favorite The Wrong Hole. Because 1) awesome title, 2) lead singer Stephen Kilroy’s falsetto=so full of win 3) sweet and melancholy lyrics, about a girl in love with someone else.
Overall, The Sun & Earth has great repeat listen potential, is upbeat, and I personally think that all the time they’ve taken to polish their songs has really paid off. There are some songs that I’m not a huge fan of: The Fury is possibly the least furious song I’ve ever heard, and Let Nothing In is too weirdly country for me, but two skips on an 11-track album isn’t bad at all.
If you’re a fan of The Bravery, The Strokes, or Kings of Leon, I would definitely recommend these guys. And if you like the album, you have to see them live–they put on a seriously awesome show.