The album, “Heart of the Golden Mystics” by Winchester 7 & the Runners – which officially drops on December 22 – is easily accessible on a surface level, and has a series of irresistible musical moments, that’s almost unparalleled. However buried in its underbelly is a complex and intriguing concept. “The album takes our work in a new direction. Remaining varied in musical influence, it puts a murder mystery to music where we know the killer from the start. Or do we?” states Winchester 7, on discussing the 7-track recording. For those still strangely unaware of just who this band is, Winchester 7 & the Runners is a ukulele rock band, consisting of bandleader, vocalist and ukulele maestro Winchester 7, and virtual Runners Phil Voorhees (bass) who resides in Amsterdam, and Jack Kane (drums) who is itinerant in the UK.
Though Winchester 7 & the Runners are authentically independent, they are at risk of being swept into the mainstream maelstrom, due to the sheer force of their songwriting and performing prowess, which is becoming more and more difficult to contain within a niche indie market.
The “Heart of the Golden Mystics” album speaks for itself, and for the band. It’s a fresh, captivating and devilishly clever project, and one of the most thrilling and singular alternative rock albums released this year, independent or not.