MUSIC REVIEW Fact: Runaways is a record about knowing what you're running from and what you're running towards. O Artist: SUMERLIN Album: RUNAWAYS (DELUXE EDITION) Rating: Genre: Hard Rock, Nu Metal, PopRock For Fans Of: Sent By Ravens, Decyfer Down, Nine Lashes, Since October, Seventh Day Slumber Label: Dream Records Reviewed by: Christian St John Release Date: Available Now 62 > CHRISTIAN REVIEW MAGAZINE n their website, Sumerlin that they are a band that desires to be culturally relevant as well a spiritually significant. And like many other faith based bands out there, their main focus is to reach their listeners through their music and lyrics. Listening to Runaways I wouldn't at all be surprised if they achieved just what they set out to do. Sumerlin originally released Runaways as 12 track debut album in 2014. I must admit, I missed the album the first time round (so much music, so little time). So having listened to this re-release I have to say that I am suitably impressed. The music on the first 12 tracks (which make up the original Runaways album) more than reminds me of music by bands such as Nine Lashes, Decyfer Down, and Sent By Ravens - Runaways was produced by John Harrell who has previously worked with Sent By Ravens. There is a raw energy found in these songs that one rarely finds on a debut album. Not only that, but it should be obvious to any listener that the band put a lot of passion and effort into each and every one of the original 12 tracks. Being a deluxe album, this re-release of Runaways includes 5 new songs plus an excellent acoustic version of Sumerlin’s number 1 single “Breaking Out”. With regards to the new tracks, I’m not sure why Sumerlin didn’t just release these new tracks as a stand alone EP - my main reason for saying this is because the 5 new tracks are quite a bit different, musically speaking, from the 12 original tracks on Runaways. Whereas the 12 original tracks are blend of hard rock, nu metal, and power ballads, the 5 new tracks lean more towards a pop-rock sound - the guitars are not as heavy, the thundering bass is less up front, and the vocals have been somewhat toned down. However, when all is said and done, Runaways Deluxe Edition is still a great release. Fans will no doubt want to check out the new tracks, and if like me you missed this album last year, you might be in for a pleasant surprise should you choose to check it out. There’s guitar driven hard rock loaded with anthemic choruses, guitar crunching nu metal that incorporates some good use of synth and keys, and thanks to the 5 new tracks, some really good pop rock. Runaways Deluxe Edition is a great album from Sumerlin, a band I will be keeping my eyes on as they continue to rise through the ranks of the Christian music scene.