Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
Buy On
  1. Jun 20, 2014
    82
    Cruel Runnings is full of upbeat and catchy songs with melodies that’ll stay with you long after hearing them.
  2. Jun 20, 2014
    80
    Much of the album is infused with a Casablancas-meets-RSO Records aesthetic circa 1980. Ultimately, it’s just that style, matched with musical substance, that helps Cruel Runnings register as a lot more than just retro hipster pastiche.
  3. Jun 20, 2014
    60
    Sure, Cruel Runnings is a bit of a one-trick pony--but, you have to admit, it's a pretty great trick.
  4. Jun 20, 2014
    50
    After four albums, it seems like Miniature Tigers are heading towards the crowd and away from the niche they carved for themselves early on.
  5. Oct 30, 2014
    40
    Easy digestion may be good business, but lack of adventure remains unsettling.
User Score
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No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jun 28, 2014
    6
    Miniature Tiger's fourth album Cruel Runnings is the moment of truth for fans, who felt alienated by the band’s third album Mia Pharaoh, as toMiniature Tiger's fourth album Cruel Runnings is the moment of truth for fans, who felt alienated by the band’s third album Mia Pharaoh, as to whether or not they have stuck to their roots of simpler instrumentation (TITTV) or if they have become as synth-obsessed as the electronic god Com Truise himself.

    In terms of genre the album is a distant relative of the bands earlier works Tell It To The Volcano and FORTRESS. Alternatively Cruel Runnings shares strong musical similarities in dreamy, synthy indie pop to their 2012 release, Mia Pharaoh. In contrast to FORTRESS, the subject matter in the albums’ songs is not contorted by surreal lyricism. Today, with dozens of boy-bands and pop idols vocalising lyrics of love and breakup with simple rhythm schemes, Cruel Running’s lyricism usually flutters by without tugging my ears. For example the line “Standing in the mess we made/I don’t know how it got this way” in Better Apart is the sort of lyricism musicians would come up with in ten minutes; giving the littlest hoot imaginable.

    Swimming Pool Blues (SPB) is the grand opener to the album and ticks all the boxes. It has good, sufficient lyrics, production and usage of guitar throughout sweeps you out into a grand summer scene. Used To Be The **** is a fantastic sequel to SPB. Oblivious's repetitive synth-beat should have been in a minor key - it was too happy-clappy and poppy. However the worst song could be Frazier Ave. The vocals were lazy and the instrumental was its own monster; Charlie Brand’s vocals did not belong. Selfish Girl was very good in that Charlie utters the explicit, imperative sentence “chill the **** out”. Damn right, this is a summer album Charlie, you tell her!

    Overall, the lyricism in the album is subpar to previous Mini Tig releases. To make up for lost lyricism, the band has released some of their best synthy new-wave production particularly in the songs Frazier Ave, Dream Girl, Better Apart and Selfish Girl. It’s a summer album that attempts to put the band on the mainstream radar. Being a poor, small band isn’t very fun for long.
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