by MythofRock

UK-France duo The Noise Who Runs present their ‘Preteretrospective’ album, a 14-track offering sprung from the mind of Ian Pickering (of Sneaker Pimps and Front Line Assembly). Featuring songs from their first two EPs – curated and set in a more far-reaching context – along with six new, previously unreleased tracks.

Ian Pickering (co-author of such hits as ‘Spin Spin Sugar’, ‘6 Underground’ and ‘Tesko Suicide’) wrote this material simultaneously to material for the latest Sneaker Pimps album. Formed four years ago upon relocating from Hartlepool, England to Lille, France, The Noise Who Runs is now a duo with Brazilian-French guitarist Felipe Goes.

A literal translation of ‘O bruit qui cour’, a French phrase meaning ‘gossip’, The Noise Who Runs was also the name of Pickering’s favourite restaurant, where the ideas for this project fell into place.

The Noise Who Runs’ is rooted in the shared principles and approach to making music of punk/new wave and early hip-hop – both the mentality and the message. This brand of indie-electronic rock is heavily shaped by the 1970’s experimental electronic scene in Sheffield, the 1990’s guitar-house mix of the Manchester scene, Primal Scream’s guitar-electronic sound after 1997’s ‘Vanishing Point’, and 2000’s XTRMNTR.

Earlier, the duo released lead tracks ‘Beautiful Perhaps’ and the highly cynical ‘Takes a Long Cold Look and Then The Kitchen Sink’ – the illegitimate child of solo album-era Syd Barrett and post-Talking Heads David Byrne and ‘2poor2die’, which is at once, a celebration of ordinary bravery in the face of the daily grind of routine and a condemnation of the eternal ideology that sees working people as disposable.

TNWR drifts effortlessly between analogue and digital, from instrument to instrument and between genres, the duo ultimately achieving a blend of abrasive beauty from electric guitars and electronica.

The electronic, looped simplicity of ‘Off the Rails’ is followed by the pandemic-inspired songs ‘Things Fall Apart’, ‘Electronic Babysitter’ and the wonderfully bizarre groove of ‘Somewhere Between Dogs and Wolves’, inspired by Ted Hughes’ poem ‘The dogs are eating your mother’.

‘So Good It’s Free’ and ‘Zoe’s Edible Garden’ deliver among the most direct and obvious lyrics on the album, addressing the growing inequality in society and the struggle of what Pickering describes as the unheard and unseen decent people without voices and increasingly without hope, barely considered worth considering.

The utopian optimism of ‘So It Goes’ to the bleak but beautiful view of ‘New York to L.A. in 2-and-a-half Minutes’ led to ‘Under the Sun’, a campfire song with balearic beats that recounts the aftermath of the revolution that should be coming and finally ‘L’altruisme’, a strangely disconcerting slice of electronic weirdness.

As of April 21, the ‘Preteretrospective’ album is available across digital music platforms, including SpotifyApple Music and Bandcamp, where this and other releases can e obtained directly from the artist.

1. Beautiful Perhaps
2. Off The Rails
3. Things Fall Apart
4. Electronic Babysitter
5. Somewhere Between Dogs And Wolves
6. So Good It’s Free
7. Zoe’s Edible Garden
8. 2poor2die
9. So It Goes
10. Smile, Smile, Smile
11. Takes A Long Cold Look And Then The Kitchen Sink
12. New York To L.A. In 2-And-A-Half Minutes
13. Under The Sun
14. L’altruisme


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