Album Review: Broken Field Runner “Heavy Hanging Fruit”

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Heavy Hanging Fruit, Broken Field Runner’s second full-band release, continues the group’s talent in conceptual indie punk. The EP proves to be quite the effective medium for this collection of songs, as they are even more thematically focused and more effortlessly at home musically in the peaks and valleys of dynamics than ever before. Pregnant with meaning, Heavy Hanging Fruit is a complete, cohesive arc that highlights the hope, fallout, and redemption associated with the weight of bearing fruit in infertility, family, and faith. While specific in meaning, this EP rings true for all its listeners – we all miscarry somehow or another in this heavy life and consequently struggle with the resulting empty weight.

“Expecting” offers the listener a unique window into the quiet, commonplace tragedy of another’s life that could only exist in the digital age – or in art. The opening track encapsulates the entire mood of what is to come – highlighting the heartbreak after the never met anticipation of new birth – though our subjects, so human, are “making strides.” Gendered, or perhaps genderless, the narration becomes born in “Skin Under These Nails.” This both fulfills the totality of a couples’ tale but speaks for all the untold stories of the unborn.

The repeating image of buried dogs, filling the empty graves of the unburied unborn, places us within the opening garden setting – a haunted place that revisits us ethereally as “shadows in the grass.” Within Broken Field Runner’s world the garden, once lush with simple faith as in Eden, now bares barren and exposed in the broken promise of regeneration. This leaves its refugees forever seeking “one more bite.” When family and famine become synonymous, hope becomes evermore an unattainable rarity.

A child’s recurring reading of Genesis appears throughout the EP, unifying these Biblical images. A child’s faith is compromised both narratively and sonically. Blind faith has now been given a critical lens, and the remaining interpretation is left up to the beholder. It is not faithlessness, necessarily, but awareness. Heavy Hanging Fruit – though understandably leaning towards the cynical – similarly allows us to look directly at such moments of profundity, not down on them, with the decision ultimately ours. As Aristotle challenged Plato, we too must “contemplate the boughs that creak or the distance between earth and leaves.”

Broken Field Runner “Heavy Hanging Fruit”, 2017


Last modified: March 15, 2017