When a band classifies themselves as classic rock, it is always difficult to know what exactly to expect. After all, rock has several different subgenres (grunge, blues, folk) and bands tend to migrate more towards a particular subgenre instead of playing them all. However on Ontario band Run Coyote’s debut album Youth Haunts, the band manages to sound like all of the greatest milestones of rock history, fusing several subgenres into one amazing listen.
The album opens up with a short and sweet track entitled “Jump in the River.” Though the lead vocals are slightly shaky here, the guitar riffs are reminiscent of a Western movie soundtrack, mixed with something off a Radiohead album. The backup vocals are something incredible.
“Only Human” sounds completely different. It’s a classic rock track with a bit of a folk and country influence, similar to the works of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Much like Dylan, what lacked in the vocals is made up for with its well-written lyrics. Overall, it’s a slow but rather fun track. Sam Allen’s voice improves massively from the third track onwards, sounding like the perfect cross between Alex Turner (lead vocalist of The Arctic Monkeys) and Thom Yorke (Radiohead frontman).
With “Troubles” came the clear influence of another rock subgenre: blues. It would seem Sam Allen does this genre very well; his vocal range was best in this song. Though the two genres aren’t frequently mixed, the song is a cross between folk and blues, and it somehow works amazingly.
“Meadow Boy” is a very sad alternative rock track in which the piano and the violin will leave you pleasantly broken hearted. Run Coyote follows this up with “Love like a River”, a much happier and catchy blues-rock tune that will have you forgetting about your previously broken heart, and snapping your fingers in seconds. Sam Allen’s expert lyric writing is at its best with “Cold Outside”, at first expressing the feelings of Canadians in the winter, then describing the feeling of lost love. Joe Allen’s trumpet-playing adds a nice layer to the song, and it’s the most sullen track on the album.
“Neighbours” was clearly influenced by both Pink Floyd and old reggae by The Police. The harmonizing is extremely well done. This track is relaxing and completely flawless. Hearing the next song, “Never Wanted To,” it becomes easy to envision the band playing live at a festival someday: audience members completely immersed in their music, swaying slowly to the beat, and waving around their lighters (or I suppose cell phones). It’s perfect, but will leave you feeling a little sad. Luckily, “Wreck of a Man” is strategically placed so that the album finishes off with a fast and catchy track that will satisfy you. The songs on the album fit together like a story or rock-opera, and it’s perfect for anyone who enjoys some good classic rock and a medley of genres in their music.
Written by Franca G. Mignacca