Run Away From The Humans – We Exist

run.away.from.the.humans. – we exist
(Expedition Zero One One)

So, apparently in the downtime between Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service, Ben Gibbard decided to start a third group. However, run.away.from.the.humans.’ press kit seems to deny it. But don’t believe them, in fact don’t believe anything you read. Trust me, it’s really him no matter what they say. Just listen to “We Are,” which sounds like it could easily fit on Give Up, and there will be no doubt in your mind. However, it seems like the band is trying to remain oblivious to the obvious Postal Service comparisons. The band’s website even says that lead singer Jason McBride’s vocals are reminiscent of Neil Tennant and Ian Brown, completely ignoring the Gibbard comparisions.

Sounding like another band isn’t necessarily a horrible thing and I wouldn’t hate a band simply for sounding too similar to another group. But run.away.from.the.humans. doesn’t seem interested in adding innovation to their sound. “We Are” is the best example, as it sounds like a complete replica of The Postal Service. For the majority of the EP, the band prefers to use the most simplistic electronic beats as background. It seems like the band recently bought Fruity Loops and made some beats really quickly to back the music because the drummer quit the week before.

The song “All That Was Left Were Ashes,” does sound like the band is trying to do something different. It starts off beautifully with vocals, piano and ambient noise, until the drums kick in and begin playing the lamest beat imaginable. The beat doesn’t even match the tempo of the song. It had the potential, but it never quite makes it.

My main problem with the album is that it is too middle-of-the-road. The band should have focused more on their electronic sounds, or more on the guitars, rather than minimally developing either. It looks like they want to follow a current trend, rather than break any new ground. As it is, the album sounds too much like The Postal Service, but not quite as good. If they added more electronica things might be different. I liked the song “Lost My Way” precisely for this reason. It sounds more like a poppier version of The Pet Shop Boys. They do show a lot of potential in these two songs; however, on the rest of the EP they settle for mediocrity. — Zak Bronson

SCORE: 1.75 stars