A song which speaks of someone being sawn in half in the first line certainly isn’t subtle. And I like it that way.
Welcome to ‘Run Too Far’ – the latest track from Manchester-based music duo Stray One. With Jay Plent on guitar and vocals and Ben Harris bringing piano and drums, this track treats us to carnivalesque elements emerging from within indie rock.
The track opens with a catchy clack of percussion before a sudden transition, a kind of alarm, into lush guitar. The lyrics are evocative, perhaps even provocative – “Climb into the box and let me saw you in half” hot in the ear.
It tells of the trials and tribulations of relationships – the guitar giving a real edginess, tightly-knit and agitated – topped with clear vocals on the verses.
Lines like “In the suspense of the moment I can feel your heart stop / It’s a terrible beauty but it’s all that I’ve got” combine crafty pacing with a half-rhyme which prevents the contents from being too heavy. There is a hot irony, a melting into metaphor and an intelligence to this song which in itself is enjoyable.
Then for the chorus, which comes as a sweep of spiralling vocals and a refreshing change in pitch, followed by another round of verse with bouncing echoes. All adds to the growing sense of agitation, an evocation of the intensity which comes when a relationship goes wrong.
It has to be said for this track, that the variations between reprises of verse and chorus are distinct and develop depth within the track – from changes in volume to thickened emotion in the voice. It portrays the course of events, and keeps the listener interested.
In this light, the lurch into the chant-like “I can tell you love me but it feels me with dread” feels a little jarring towards the end compared with the narrative build up in the rest of the track… but that it’s expressed over a super-clean hi-hat and holds up that wave of glorious, gusty agitation, makes it work.
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