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March 20, 2014

By Rick Sharp

Dream Records

I guess I’m getting older. 

Sumerlin’s new project, “Runaways,” is described by its label as “a mix of power pop and ambience textured rock music.” Hmm. Certainly I hear a mix of power pop (I do know what power pop is) mixed with the roar of grunge (albeit melodic grunge). It’s the ambience-textured rock that has me scratching my head, although after the first listen, I think I’m beginning to understand. There are even some touching, piano-led ballads. No matter. “Runaways” is a captivating mix of good lyrics, energetic playing, edgy vocals and real creativity. In all this is a very satisfying record. The band does a good job of being, in their words, “culturally relevant and spiritually significant.”

You won’t find a lot of overt Bible-based lyrics here. What you will find are gripping descriptions of people yearning for truth, tempering modern life with a search for the Eternal. Maybe not for everybody but perhaps closer to the realities of forging a spiritual life than we older ones might like to remember.

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