Thursday, August 17, 2017

DIE LAUGHING-Running From The Guns (1990)


Besides having turned a 'deaf ear' to my favorite 'hair band' rock before the past couple of days, something else within the wide arena of rock I had tuned out on and had been missing was the 80's and post-80's new wave music (and, of course, all of the quirkiness and weirdness that always comes along with it). When "Running From The Guns", the only known full studio album released by the obscure duo that called itself DIE LAUGHING (not to be confused with the British goth band by the same name), was requested a few days ago and I knew that I had access to it, I felt the timing was perfect for doing a feature presentation on it Once again, we have a short-lived band that I have had absolutely no knowledge about and know nothing about its origins for as long as I've been aware of its existence, yet the music is nothing short of spectacular! For those of us that crave music with catchy hooks, infectiously dancey beats and senselessly fun lyrics that you don't really need to completely understand, every one of the ten tracks is a sure delight! You can quickly tell the opener called "Humans" was inspired by life back in the 80's when the lead guy starts singing something about loving the human race. After that, it's the bizarre lyrical adventure that is "One Thing For Sure", which is the first place where I had noticed the impressive background vocalists chiming in during the chorus. It's more melodic synthpop and less rock on one of my favorites: "Anywhere At All". The musical arrangement is so cool—electronic ambiance mixed in with spurts of jazz, with the real jazz/pop party coming alive in the closing movements when the beat picks up tempo and the backing vocalists chime in with the repetitive 'take me, shake me'. "Suspicion", I loved, as soon as I heard the chords and the swirly woodwind accompaniment beneath the beat; it really sparks my senses! Besides that, some of the weirdest yet most colorful lyrics on the album can be found here, highlighted by when he says something about her being like a Spanish inquisition, which is one of the many bizarre things that prompts him to declare ' that's my suspicion '. "Safe In The Dark" is an awesome thrill ride; what begins with a rather eerie ambient flow explodes into one of those rockin' jams you hear on those 80's action movie soundtracks! The title track is the most entertaining of them all; besides the dancey beat, it's great how they incorporate everything from the traditional children's bedtime prayer—'now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep'—to the memorable lyrics from QUEEN's "We Will Rock You" and the BURNING SENSATIONS hit, "Belly Of The Whale" to get their message across about running from guns and the ones that love you (which I still find rather perplexing). Then there are a couple of jams where I hardly retained any of the lyrics at all, but still had a blast with them: "I Don't Need You" (those terrific backup vocalists shine all throughout this one) and "Don't Stay" (I got attached to the super-catchy chorus of If it gets you down, gets you down, gets you down, don't stay'). Almost kind of ironic that this album's cover artwork pictured above seems to indicate two hard-rockin' guys, because it turns out that the music makes for some very easy listening on the ears:

1. Humans
2. One Thing For Sure
3. Anywhere At All
4. Suspicion
5. Safe In The Dark
6. Running From The Guns
7. I Don't Need You
8. Kundalini
9. Don't Stay
10. Swept Away

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