The Noise Who Runs present their latest single ‘New York To L.A. In 2-And-A-Half Minutes’, with its bleak but beautiful view. Its siren-like synth, pulsing bass riff and crackling drums underline the urgency of rhythmic energy, which contrasts with the bittersweet “be careful what you wish for” melancholy expressed in the melody and vocals. Here, the speed of travel is symbolic as the sign of progress that, like so many technologies, save us time at the expense of experience, possibilities and chance.

This is one of 14 tracks found on the duo’s new ‘Preteretrospective’ album, the brainchild of Ian Pickering (of Sneaker Pimps and Front Line Assembly), who also co-authored such hits as ‘Spin Spin Sugar’, ‘6 Underground’ and ‘Tesko Suicide’. Upon relocating from northern England to France, Pickering formed The Noise Who Runs with Brazilian-French guitarist Felipe Goes.

This latest single was inspired by commentary by one of the scientists involved in the space probe observing the sun. Pickering says, “That line – ‘New York to L.A. in 2-and-a-half minutes’ – instantly just starts painting pictures of an insane future, good or bad, at a certain cost, which is now too much, gone too far, that maybe what matters is not just everything that we take for granted but more everything that we’re always complaining and bellyaching about. From that line, it pretty much all fell together.”

“The opening line “to be the death of kings in words” partly alludes to the Biggie and Tupac story, which perhaps best sums up the iconic stature of the two cities embodying the very best and the worst of US culture, which have largely defined most of the 20th Century (from music and movies to technological and scientific breakthroughs). After that, it examines the relationship between a future where travel is all but instantaneous and the very human thing at stake in no longer having to make the journey.”

Earlier, the duo previewed ‘Beautiful Perhaps’, ‘Takes a Long Cold Look and Then The Kitchen Sink’ and ‘2poor2die’, blending the abrasive beauty of electric guitars and electronica.

The looped simplicity of ‘Off the Rails’ is followed by the pandemic-inspired songs ‘Things Fall Apart’ and ‘Electronic Babysitter’ and the wonderfully bizarre groove of ‘Somewhere Between Dogs and Wolves’, inspired by Ted Hughes’ poem ‘The dogs are eating your mother’.

‘So Good It’s Free’, ‘Zoe’s Edible Garden’ and ‘2poor2die’ deliver the most direct and obvious lyrics on the album, addressing the growing inequality in society and the struggle of the unheard and unseen decent people, who are without voices and increasingly without hope.

The utopian optimism of ‘So It Goes’ leads to ‘Under the Sun, a campfire song with balearic beats that recounts the aftermath of the revolution that should be coming and finally ‘L’altruisme’, a strangely disconcerting slice of electronic weirdness.

Pickering reminds us, “Nothing that gets done here is for our benefit, you can be sure about that. We might get some hand-me-down bouquet of barbed wire benefit from the next breakthrough technology, but there’s nothing altruistic involved. There’s no heartfelt intention, empathy or compassion behind any of it; it all starts and ends with power, money and profit.”

Mixed and mastered by Colin C at The Cell Studio, the ‘Preteretrospective’ album is out now and available across fine music platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp, where this and other releases can be obtained directly from the artist.

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