Hardcore isn’t a genre one normally thinks of as ‘far out,’ but Spell Runner have made it work spectacularly. The Albany, New York, quartet play a jangling, joyful form of rock that mixes the angular fury of Fugazi, the cynical swagger of Dead Kennedys, and the string-bending good time of classic surf artists like Dick Dale and The Trashmen into a cinematic sound that’ll have fans bobbing their heads like pigeons on trucker speed.
The band’s debut EP, Always On The Cool, takes this vibe for a long, hard ride. Over seven jocular, fist-swinging tunes, the band take listeners through a drunken brawl at a belly dance, mixing surf rock’s Arabic overtones with hard-edged punk. The music would be utterly Californian if not for the concrete-lined aspects of east-coast hardcore injected throughout. The sonic profile seems to give their name some credence — this comes off like the soundtrack to a sweating dude in an old Caddy showing up at a motel to sell a book of ancient black magic. - Kerrang!