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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The Runaway Five debuts at Plush EP release party

    It’s tough to pinpoint exactly how to classify the genre of music The Runaway Five plays. As vocalist and guitarist Zach Wolfenbarger explains, “”We’re kind of all over the map. We play ‘sci-fi’ music, like an ’80s New Wave sound with punk influences. But we’re very much a dance-oriented punk rock sound.””

    Sound complicated? Well, sure. And the band steps up the complexity a notch by throwing in a ukulele and a Nintendo Game Boy backing track. But perhaps The Runaway Five will clear things up on Saturday night at Plush, where they will drop their first EP, Raygunomics.

    “”It’s kind of a bad pun,”” said bassist Ian Williams, defending the EP’s title. “”But I think we are a band that can kind of be defined by an appreciation for bad puns. It’s a culmination of what we’ve been up to for the first couple of years being a band. We pared it down from a bunch of different songs that we had recorded, and decided that these were the songs that represented our beginning.””

    Williams says the “”beginning”” was three years ago, when the band was playing at smaller venues around Tucson like Belushe’s and Dry River. The band developed a loyal local following and put together Raygunomics, which was self-recorded and mixed.

    The Runaway Five will team up with fellow Tucson locals The Otterssay and Verdant, who will also be dropping a new EP the same night.

    “”Verdant is three good friends of ours,”” said Williams. “”They play pretty straightforward guitar rock with sort of country-ish influences. They get called the rock and roll Jeff Buckley,”” he joked. “”Both are Tucson local bands, and have gotten excellent local press. We are really looking forward to a show that is going to be thematically cohesive but fun, but also diverse.””

    The Runaway Five plans to play all the songs off their new record, but with a twist: Wolfenbarger will bring in a Nintendo Game Boy for a few songs, adding a unique touch to synth rock tracks like “”Ronald Raygun”” and “”Let’s Vote.”” Fans can also expect a different sound for “”Grey Matter,”” which originally was written on a ukulele.

    “”Our drummer Bobby Shields said, ‘You know, that would be a cool band song.’ And once we figured out how all the chords translated, it turned out he was totally right. It went from kind of a chilled-out ukulele jam to a pretty rock n’ roll kind of song,”” said Williams.

    The band currently offers the EP for free on their website, and plans to release more of their music on iTunes in the near future. Fans will be able to purchase Raygunomics and other Runaway Five band gear at the Plush event for $5, which will include special bonus features for the release party.

    The Runaway Five with Verdant and The Otterssay

    Saturday, April 4

    9:00 p.m., Plush, 340 E. 6th St., $5

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