The EP Gorerunner, released in July 2018 by New York City duo Jane in Space, is a collection of six tracks blending together alternative rock vocals, lyrics, and songwriting with electronic and industrial beats and sounds. The brilliance of this release comes from the seemingly completely natural way these genres come together, as well as the surprise twist in some of the numbers. In “Eat Your Face,” for example, an Indian-inspired guitar riff at the two-thirds mark is arresting in its uniqueness in a sea of the track’s electronic melody, yet seamless in its rise and fall. It’s sheer brilliance and madness rolled into one.
Bassist Josh Stillman and vocalist Tom Vickers’ sophomore offering is aptly named; the vocals and melody veer at times on the creepy side, while the beats are driving and, sometimes, relentless. And yet, it’s isn’t a difficult or even heavy EP to listen to. “Breaking Glass” begins with a simple piano and vocal introduction. Upbeat despite the sadness underlying the simple melody and the moroseness of the hypnotic singing, the transition between main verse and bridge, then bridge and chorus is so gentle that it could be easily missed. The auditory equivalent of floating in a vacuum breaks the song in two, with the entire number ending up being both edgy and radio-friendly at the same time, skimming formulaic grounds while retaining the ability of capturing listeners’ attention.
The accompanying music video enhances the track’s overall hypnotic melancholy. It is engrossing and intense in its simplicity; during the entire first verse, the lead is sitting at a table, in a kitchen, staring camera right. The second verse features a head tilt and ensuing telekinetic, unhurried and deliberate moving of glasses on the kitchen table. Because of the parallel constant, albeit painfully slow movement of the camera, the entire experience is gripping, to say the least.
The EP’s other four songs are more of the same marriage between the main genres (alternative rock, electronic, and industrial), with varying, yet overlapping results. This makes for a captivating and varied, yet cohesive listening experience. The verses in “Little Raurus” are in spoken word, with the static-laden vocals, accompanied by a straightforward, yet heady, relentless, almost military-sounding melody that breaks into an alternative metal chorus featuring full-throttled, nearly gut-wrenching singing by Vickers. The quiet moments just after the halfway mark are given to listeners as if the band knows full well it is going to need a moment to cleanse its auditory palate before going on. “Through the Vines” finishes things of on an anxiety-laden note, the perfect way to make sure listeners don’t forget about Jane in Space.
In Gorerunner, Jane in Space creates delicious tension through its blending of multiple genres. For more information, check out their main site janeinspace.com or their Facebook page. You can also stream both their albums on SoundCloud.