by Joe Gutierrez (@purityofheart_)
With a frenzy of distorted string slides and warped feedback, we hear a hollered out “Ausmuteants!”. It’s the intro to the ripped open wide world of Band Of The Future, a record of Melbourne pop songs cloaked in gnarly avalanches of power chords, slimy synth, and furious breakneck rhythm. Atop it all runs lead singer Jake Robertson’s barks, yelps, and musings on topics ranging from music criticism to electrocution. Ausmuteants hurl me back in time to being fifteen in my childhood bedroom, throwing on local punk 7”s, my adolescent brain circle pitting around the interior of my skull. The affirmation that glass can be broken and volcanoes erupt, that nothing has to be the way it seems, or how they tell you it’s supposed to be. There’s scores of anger and humor and radical self-awareness all over this thing. Tight, contained riffs and rhythm. Band of the Future is a damn good rock and roll record.
“Silent Genes” kicks off the album with its electric slip ’n’ slide chorus and grimy fist-mashing key-change, clearing the floor for the star of the show- that ear-warming woozy and doozie of a synthesizer. Its first appearance is one long sustained note of dystopic doom. It only gets bigger and better from there. “New Planet” busts in like a theme song- here to conquer and kick ass. Staccato synth bursts and frantic snare fills carry the message along. My favorite song on this record is “Coastal Living," with its zany verses like, “Bacon and eggs for breakfast, every single day. Poached is gross and sunny-side up is the only way” and “Get yourself a steady job when you finish school. Puff out your chest if you start feeling minuscule.” The band foregoes a chorus for a catchy space-travel synth jingle that yanks you along for the ride.
I really, really love the crushed bubble-wrap drumming in the intro and chorus of “Spankwire". The brain-freeze hyper-speed guitar riffs and synth licks garnish it suitably. The record’s title track begins with a low shuffling synth melody, brimming with doom. It’s a tongue-in-cheek anthem chewing over music culture and commentary. I was pleased to hear the name of science fiction writer “Philip K. Dick” uttered among the boomeranged crunch and gravel three-stringed strums. “Mr Right” has this wild-ass bridge of broken mirror universes where the synth and guitar alternate the same riff at the end of each measure. It rules. And don’t forget about that awesome slo-mo stilted drum roll intro. “Liars” arrives as a dismal rumination on dishonest people, a mid-tempo staggerer exploding into a pinball laser light show with a single command: “Drop!”
To put it simply, what we’ve got here is something like an over-caffeinated Television Personalities, or a poppier Wire who stumbled upon synth. Great pop songs delivered with just the right amount of damage. But just really vicious at times, too. I mean, these teeth are gleaming. Rolling down a hill in a garbage can. Cartoon violence! Conveyor belts going way too fast, products piling up and spilling over onto the floor. Something wolf-like. Streetlights flickering and cigarette stubs. Coffee dripping into your convertible’s cup holder and staining the plastic.