Despite being landlocked in the American Midwest, Jeff Runnings was able to experience the thrill of the UK punk and post-punk explosions, courtesy of a tremendous local record store and a wealth of touring acts that made stops in his home state of Nebraska. In the mid 1980's, after a brief false start in Athens, GA with fellow Nebraskan Matthew Sweet, Jeff formed For Against, the post-punk band deemed critical darlings and embraced by fans for over two decades. With eight full-length releases and one EP, For Against has seen line up changes and stylistic shifts but one thing has remained constant---the guiding force of Runnings anchoring the 'For Against sound' with nimble bass playing and choirboy vocals. For Against seemed ahead of the curve right out of the starting gate; their debut Echelons LP released in 1986 saw a Grammy nomination (Best Art Design) and nationwide tour; the second album December is widely seen as a precursor to the 'dreampop' movement that would infiltrate the UK a couple years later...

In 2012, Brooklyn buzz label Captured Tracks reissued the first three For Against albums as a boxset, and 2007 and 2008 saw For Against playing to enthusiastic crowds throughout Europe. Now comes Runnings' first solo effort, curiously titled "Primitives and Smalls", written and recorded in his home studio in 2014. Primitives is a homage of sorts, a love letter to the bands (The Cure, Ultravox, Associates, Cocteau Twins) and record labels (Factory, 4AD, Crepuscule) that were formative in developing the directions Runnings would follow with For Against. But while For Against has always been guitar-centric, Primitives finds Runnings diving in head first with vintage analog synths and drum machines to create quite a lush affair, and while there are guitars throughout the album, they sparkle more and command less, allowing the melodic flow of the songs to be guided by Jeff's still-boyish vocals.

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