The new Mellow Dees single is driving music with early-aughts pop-punk ballast and New Wave melodiousness. Not to be missed.
The new outing from The Mellow Dees is an about-face from the baroque-kundiman leanings of their debut (“Lamán”). And I don’t need to be telling you this, but that’s a damn good thing.
The last thing we want from people invariably associated with highly constricting genres, after all, is to have them move laterally to yet another highly constricting genre.
So, no: this isn’t that. And yes: this is something else.
“Runnin’” is driving music with early-aughts pop-punk ballast and New Wave melodiousness. It’s refreshing to hear all three personalities behind The Mellow Dees churn out material they would never have given the time of day two (or three) decades back, and it’s even more heartening to confirm that they don’t sound like tourists when they do so.
Topically—and this is where the musical choices become interesting after the fact—the track isn’t about the open road, but it might as well be. A rhapsody on domestic abuse, what it rhapsodizes (in reality) is the escape: the “runnin’” that isn’t so much about a displacement (or change in milieu) as it is a shift in headspace (the only space that matters, in the end).
“We’re excited for this single release. It’s a totally different sound and vibe!” the trio curtly says in a statement, and to be fair, their thrill is indeed palpable on the recording: drummer Wolf Gemora sounds rigid but never frigid, Nievera lets it rip with mostly overdriven fretwork, and Melody del Mundo has a renewed verve and vigor in her pipework.
Interestingly, the band affirms this new sound is “the [one] we would like to be known for,” but how that manifests on their debut album (a self-described “epic” one) is anybody’s guess at this point.
“I will be fine / I think you all should know / I have hidden wounds and bruises / But I’m nursing them no more,” Melody sings in the track—the latent rabble-rouser in her nudged awake, and how—the violence whisked away into forgetting, the very vim of the performance its own veritable counterattack.
There is much to love in “Runnin’”: the energy, the easy familiarity, the sometimes-unsettling confidence, because, really, fear is often the crux of survival. That said, though, this new tune from The Mellow Dees captivates beyond subject or object.
It deserves a spin (or six) from you today.