10.21.13 — “Reunion” by Tears Run Rings

Tears Run Rings

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Reunion” by Tears Run Rings (2010, from the album Distance).

Tears Run Rings is a dream pop foursome who do their collaborative work via the internet. They live separately in the cities of Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Since 2007, they’ve released two albums and an EP this way despite the hundreds of miles of highway that separate them. Their most recent album is Distance, which came out in the summer of 2010.

Although I can neither confirm or deny it, I would bet that the band’s name is derived from the Marc Almond (formerly of the band Soft Cell) song of the same name from 1988.

I had never heard of this wonderful band until I was doing some research yesterday and I ended up listening to tonight’s song a bunch of times. It was a terrific find. Without delay, I also bought a download of Distance. I suggest that you all do the same thing. This song should help you.

“Reunion” by Tears Run Rings

One thing that’s immediately obvious is that these cats are really into the early work of Pale Saints. The way Dwayne Palasek of Tears Run Rings plays the drums is really similar to the way Chris Cooper played drums in Pale Saints. Specifically, the drumming bit in the verses of tonight’s song sounds almost as if it was literally borrowed from the chorus of the Pale Saints’ incredible song “Half-Life, Remembered” (1990, from the “Half-Life” single). At times, Matthew Bice of Tears Run Rings even sings like Ian Masters of Pale Saints. I’ve said a million times before and I’ll say again that once Ian Masters left Pale Saints, they went from being a phenomenal band to being a “good band”. I’m really lucky that I got to see them in the summer of 1992 while they were still a “phenomenal band”. They opened for Ride, and it was magnificent.

Sorry for the slight digression, but it is somewhat relevant to the post. And I will always take any opportunity to go on a Pale Saints tangent.

It’s also pretty easy to tell that these cats are big supporters of the super-dreamy era of Slowdive. I’m sure the members of Tears Run Rings also like the more shoegaze-y Souvlaki-era Slowdive, but this song (and most of the Distance album) reminds me more of the ether-infused Just For a Day-era Slowdive.

From a personal standpoint, I was feeling sort of low last week. Finding this song, and letting it take me with them back to the summer of 1992 made me feel a whole lot better. I’m a sentimental, nostalgic type. Sometimes to a fault. I have a really soft spot for anything that reminds me of 1992 and 1993, and that’s exactly what this does. While this song sounds like specific stuff that came out in 1990 and 1991, I was discovering those specific things in 1992 and 1993. So I get to travel back to the summer of 1992.

Back to the task at hand… I love the aforementioned drumming. And the shimmering, dreamy guitar bits. And the perfect dream pop bass line. And the layers of delay and flanging. Oh! Those effects! There are a ton of bands out there right now who are inspired by the dream pop and shoegaze bands of the 1990s. These guys “get it right” more than most.

You can download tonight’s song for free from the bandcamp page. You can buy a digital copy of Distance from any legal downloading place, or you can buy a physical copy from the band’s web site.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

2 responses to “10.21.13 — “Reunion” by Tears Run Rings

  • paul

    Interesting to read your thoughts on Pale Saints. “In Ribbons” is in my top 4 or 5 albums of all time, so when the Ian-less “Slow Buildings” came out, I thought it was OK, but a bit of a letdown. Then, a few years ago, I listened to “Slow Buildings” after not having heard it for a few years and not having listened to “In Ribbons” for a while.

    It gave me a chance to hear the album with new ears, removed from the context of “disappointing follow-up to In Ribbons”. And I found myself much more impressed by it than I had been originally. I was particularly struck by Meriel Barham’s guitar work, which, to my ear, has an interestingly masculine quality to it.

    If you have any fondness for mellow-ish electronic music, I’d recommend her post-Pale Saints album “Kids With Sticks”, which she recorded as Kuchen.

  • phil

    if you’re an ian masters fan, i’d also recommend the ESP Summer album “Mars is a Ten” that he did with warren defever of his name is alive after he left pale saints.

    ian’s done a bunch of other projects, but for me they’ve mostly been more odd than enjoyable.

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