Even upon first listen, RunHideFight was already preaching to the choir. I am a long lost Brother JT fan, (Creatures of the Golden Dawn and The Original Sins) but my fandom is largely based on his solo record Off Blue from 2004, which I played practically on a loop, for months on end, about ten years ago, and I'm still not over it. JT is a completely singular talent, and even that feels like an understatement. RunHideFight’s front woman, Geeta Dalal Simons, (formerly of Rockula and Swisher) would no doubt agree, as she mentioned her shared admiration of JT’s music, way before he became her bandmate. I found this out in one of our slightly elusive Instagram conversations, before I finally had the good fortune to meet her in person at their live show last weekend. They kicked off the set with “He’s a Jerk”, the A-side of their debut single on Hidden Volume Records and it’s a completely fun cathartic release, especially live, and proved to be a total crowd rouser. The song starts out with Geeta, delivering her dramatic, yet cooled over spoken-sung lyric:
“I used to know this guy,
He had the fastest cars,
and the nicest guitars.
He had a house in France
and some very fancy rock pants
But you know something???
He was a JERK!!”
Then comes the scream. It’s half Wanda Jackson, & a definite nod to some of her 1960’s female predecessors, from Girls In The Garage. Mix in a little Donita Sparks styled shit-list attitude, and you can begin to get the feel of it. She does this cool scream thing pretty consistently on other tracks as well, and while fans will likely notice her foxcore vocal stylings most, I am stuck on the Wanda factor, which she told me is intentional, on her part. It was actually the first thing I noticed in her vocal affect, so I was thrilled to find out that she too, is a Wanda Jackson fan. Drummer John Kois and bass player Christine Weiser certainly play more than their fair share in all of this garage goodness. Christine, formerly from the band Mae Pang, is a rock veteran herself. She feels auspiciously like the band’s ax playing designated driver, with her unfettered stage presence, though she’s a seriously hard driving force for their sound, with her heavy, impending-doom bass lines. Drummer John Kois, a Philadelphia native (from Marah and Three 4 Tens) loves certain metal bands, and that feels present in the power of his drumming style. He clearly loves a wide range of music though, and happens to have the chops to pull from whatever style he wants, just like everyone else in this band.
Now, about the B side of this single. Although both sides of the single are penned by Simons, this side has actually become my favorite. “Because I Love You” is a really catchy jam and a half, all grrrrrrl power, and rhyme scheme, it’s got a well written hook that sticks, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along. But maybe, like me, instead of the vocals you'll be doing the 60’s sitar sounds, because this groove has got em'! It wasn't much surprise to hear that local hero Chris Dipinto, self taught luthier, and owner of Dipinto's Guitar Shop in Philadelphia, made Geeta's dream team double necked 24 string, half guitar, half sitar, checker boarded beauty. The sitar sounds from the “Geetar” sound really great on “Because I Love You” and perhaps it’s because Geeta, being Indian American, is more than versed in understanding how the legacy of her heritage and the sitar itself, have played into lots of the best garage and psychedelic music of the 60’s.
Your idea of kicking it old-school might be the 60’s or the 90’s, and either way, RunHideFight has got you covered. Think Wanda Jackson with heavy-hitter lyrics and killer guitars. And judging from the strong start of the singles, we will likely be lucky enough to hear much more from them.
- Lisa Taglialavore