With the title track released as a single back in September 2017, the ‘Brightside’ EP is the second offering from Helensville-based band Running Stitch. The band includes vocalist Aletta Ashdown on guitar, Gavin Botica on bass and Kayne Wilkinson on drums. The recording was done in their home studio and mastered in Nashville, Tennessee.
Running Stitch describe themselves as an ‘alternative rock – pop’ band, but the driving thrust of the bass and rhythm guitars give this a decidedly more pop-punk sound. While the first track is augmented with some keyboard sounds from producer Adrian Ashdown there is an absence of any further instrumentation. With no lead guitar, it’s the vocalisation that provides the difference. Brightside hits like a German pop-punk song – until you remember it is being sung in English. The thrust of power chords continue in The Wait but here they are augmented with a floating vocal melancholy that lends a sense of the existential despair expressed by Siouxsie Sioux.
In The Move, when the bass begins booming through, the vocals start to press like a pre-apocalyptic depression. With a sense of echoes of an Irish folk ballad, it is inter-pierced by cries of angst evocative of Sinead O’Connor. It’s the contrast between the simplicity of the structures of the songs over-ridden by these layers of anguished voices popping through the wall of sound that gives Running Stitch their style.
This is not a band who get out and perform very often, having done just five gigs since July last year, so right now the only likely way to hear what they are doing is through this EP which you can find on Bandcamp.