The boys note bands like Modest Mouse, The Smiths, Wilco, Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed as some of their influences.
The Modest Mouse influence is obvious on the track “DBHC.” As a Modest Mouse fan, it's one of my favorite songs on the album.
Respect for both Bob Dylan and Lou Reed are apparent in Michael White’s writing style and vocals on the track "New Haunts."
Nick Tehada’s guitar playing is flawless, but the vocals on "Codeine Kids" are a bit overbearing and tend to dwarf the music. I'm chalking it up to a recording issue, though, as the lyrics themselves are deep and worth the listen
Tehada's playing reminds me of Johnny Marr’s guitar work on The Smiths’ "How Soon is Now." Obviously it’s not the same riffs, but he conveys the same feeling.
The title track, "Decent Human Being," is a heartfelt ballad in which White croons for fairness before the music breaks loose into an impromptu freestyle jazz session. It's not your typical indie album.
Matt Beaman (bass and trombone) and Kameron Schumann (percussion) maintain cadence and lay down the foundation for the variegated sounds throughout the album. They showcase their individual talents exceptionally on track 8, "What Matters Most is How You Walk Through the Fire.”
Over the past two years, Indian Runner has evolved from a solo project to the current four-piece ensemble that you hear on "A Decent Human Being." Indian Runner originally started out as White’s singer/songwriter project. He later added Tehada and Beaman. As the group progressed they needed a drummer and eventually found Schumann, thus completing the band.
A few weeks after recording "A Decent Human Being," Indian Runner was signed to Ronald Records, a new record label created by Jonathan Jenning, bassist for local band Of Us Giants. The album was released by Ronald Records on April 24 and is now available on CD or tape at RonaldRecords.com, or as a digital download online at IndianRunnerNoise.bandcamp.com.
I enjoyed this album, but I like Indian Runner even better in person. You can catch them live at these dates and locations:
June 9, Hero's Sports Lounge, Modesto
July 11, the Stanislaus County Fair, Turlock