‘Cruel Runnings’ (YEBO Records) is the fourth effort from Brooklyn band Miniature Tigers and this time the often overwhelming genre-switching has been replaced with ten gorgeous, chilled-out bouts of synth-pop.
Featured track “Used to Be the Sh*t” is a dreamy, summer track that is pretty much the cornerstone for the remainder of the album. The fact the album was recorded in Jamaica certainly would have something to do with its overall ambience. Tracks ‘Oblivious’ and ‘Better Apart’ (my personal favorite) could have been lifted straight from 1985 but both sound fresh and contain the type of hooks and melodies that demand further listens.
It’s almost impossible not to like this content. Sure it’s a little twee in places but the band counter the doo-wop of some of the instrumentation with hardened lyrics and clever harmonies.
The only track that offers a little change of direction is the impressive ‘Frazier Ave’. It contains the same laid-back formula but integrates a clever sample and has a little more of an indie feel than the other tracks. It still fits though and finishes off the LP nicely. There are certainly no square pegs in round holes here which should be commended.
Sit back and enjoy ‘Cruel Runnings’. It’s a piece of work that doesn’t really need to be judged, in any form. It’s the perfect accompaniment for vacations to warmer climates, empty cooling swimming pools, blue sky and making memories.
Track-listing is as follows…
01. Swimming Pool Blues
02. Used To Be The Sh*t
04. Dream Girl
05. Sadistic Kisses
06. Better Apart
07. I Can’t Stop
08. Give It Up To Guru
09. Selfish Girl
10. Frazier Ave