Identity and recognising who we actually are may feel like heavy topics but Pilot Run are making them easily accessible with their EP Faces Are Hard to Find. Their first EP, it uses self-reflection to take on these topics while touching on death, mental health problems and accountability for our actions. With a pulsing rock soundscape, each track hits you with lyrics that make you think and music that you can have fun to.
Bruce Teatheredge (guitars, vocals), Matt Curd (Bass, backing vocals) and Craig Thompson (drums) infuse personal experiences into their music for an authentic and raw feeling. The trio met at school and started rehearsing together before teaming up with another trio to create a band. After the band split and everyone moved to different towns for university, the momentum slowed before they were re-energised and started up again.
The EP opens with the emotionally difficult ‘Among the Dead’ which is a recognition of how death affects all of us. The crashing guitars that draw you into the single may seem at odds with the depth of the track’s topic but there is a darkness to them resting in the lower levels. The lyrics use a wonderful style to bring the pulse of emotions that losing someone brings. Teatheredge’s vocals call out over the guitars with a longing for those lost and a touch of grief. The injection of the backing vocals brings a sense of storytelling to the song which enhances the emotional impact of the track.
‘Haunted Head’ brings a completely different energy with the high-octane opening that gets your heart pounding. Thematically, the song is a continuation of the emotional state created in the opening track but it stands wonderfully on its own. A look into a mental health fallout following a traumatic experience, the track is interesting as it is both soaring and sinking. The pulses of the melody have you soaring and riding a wave of rock guitars while the vocals pull you down. This is actually a really great sonic display of mental health spirals with some guitar riffs that are utterly sublime.
There is a much more sombre feeling to ‘Used To You’ through the dampened melody. This track takes a more depressed turn as the music uses a grounded vibe to pull you in. The light hazy echo to the vocals gives them a smoky feeling like they are nebulous clouds of darkness wisping through the soundscape. This is a wonderful track after the pace of the last as it gives your heart a chance to rest while still packed with emotions. There is a questioning feeling to the vocals as they call out into the ether and make you want to stand up for yourself.
While ‘Used to You’ has a very personal feeling, ‘Bauta’ takes a turn outward and looks at accountability on a global scale. The thrashing guitars and pounding beats shake your insides before the vocals slice through with a melodic smoothness. There is a stop-start feeling to the music that pounds the vocals through your brain. The arrangement of this track is different from what came before but is so effective with the lyrics. At times, the vocals are darkness swirling around your ankles only to turn into a pulsing pillar that demands your attention. It is a great track that you can listen to again and again only to find something new to love about it.
The EP comes to a close with the almost laid-back ‘Coloured Lines’. The melody has an easy vibe that you relax into which is enhanced by the warm vocals that drape over your skin like warm sunshine. The lightness of the music sets you adrift on a soft river of music that is relaxing and bright compared to the rest of the EP. Through this track, you get a sense of connection and feel that you are not alone in the world. The change in music showcased in this song really highlights the versatility of the band.
Pilot Run draw you into dark themes with pulsing guitars and thrashing rhythms before dropping you into easy melodic flows on their EP Faces Are Hard to Find. Each track on the EP is unique in its stylings while carrying the thematic link of identity, emotions and who we really are. With the turns of each track, you are shown the prowess of the band and get lost in their abilities.