EP Review: 1st Base Runner – Light Roars

1st Base Runner, real name Tim Husmann, is an Austin, USA-based alternative rock singer songwriter who I first discovered for the blog through his Radiohead-esque Near Me. Now he’s back with a new EP. It’s called Light Roars. Here’s my track by track rundown.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Heather Gildroy

The EP opens, appropriately enough, with In The Beginning. A melancholic, minimal electronic instrumental is paired with distorted, robotic vocals, setting the scene. Drums enter, creating a driving rhythm, before echoing guitar turn things very post-rock. Tim’s vocals come last, full of emotion, rounding off the soundscape perfectly.

Track two Pushing Away takes things is a dreamy shoegaze direction, without losing the established vein of melancholy. The vocals have a kind of lethargic pleading feel about them, floating effortlessly over rock percussion and expansive guitar. A touch of modern country invokes the endlessness of Tim’s native Texas.

That atmosphere is carried into track three Dead Wood, bringing a Western movie soundtrack into the 21st Century. The bass is heavy, and electric guitar mingles with electronic percussion, creating a wonderful sense of texture. As always, the star is Tim’s vocals that say much with their understated delivery.

Give Up the End comes next, with heavy overtones, it’s the EP’s rockiest moment so far. The Radiohead comparison is at its starkest here, especially during a swelling chorus, which becomes a nihilistic chant. Tim adds his own flavour to the sound though, with electronic instrumentals floating over a post-chorus breakdown.

The EP is wrapped up with Planter. The rock elements are put aside for a minimal opening, where the vocals are at their most isolated. It’s a short-lived moment of calm, as the bass and drums quickly hit, creating a sense of urgency. There is a disorientating feel to the whole thing. You feel as if you are on the outside looking in on a world that no longer makes sense. Yet, Tim’s vocals give you something to hold onto as you navigate the song’s maze. He really did save the best for last.

Light Roars is the third EP Tim has released as 1st Base Runner, and you really get a sense that he has settled into his sound. It’s a bold, enveloping collection of songs that give you a great sense of his world and outlook, while keeping things fresh enough that you’re keen to keep listening. I can’t recommend it enough. You can listen to the whole EP below.