Review Summary: Unashamedly empty
If you know anything about music, you’re aware that irony in band names isn’t the most novel concept. Yet, Perfect Future take the cliche to new heights on their self-titled 2009 emo album. Instead of looking to what lies ahead, Perfect Future display a distinct reverence for everything yesteryear. The midwestern emo sound, with its beautiful melodies, emotive lyrics, and almost talked vocal style, made a comeback for the ages in ’09. So, it’s no surprise that Perfect Future belong to none other than Count Your Lucky Stars Records, home of what could easily be considered the main source of this revival with throwback bands Empire! Empire!, Joie de Vivre, and Castevet. The album at hand complements these other releases well. Certainly not the biggest source of gusto, Perfect Future
impresses on the other end of the spectrum. Quiet passages, little production to be found, and fairly sparse instrumentation make Perfect Future stand out among their contemporaries. The emo record astounds not with glorious, abundant melodies, but rather with the wherewithal of knowing exactly when to shut up.
Not that that’s a negative trait at all; in fact, it’s endearing and much harder to achieve than simply throwing all the noodles at the wall and seeing what sticks. On Perfect Future
, it all sticks. Consistent in every sense of the word, be it “If We Dance” with its memorable spoken word sampling intro, “Roses & Roses & Roses” with its beautifully anthemic aesthetic, or the grandiose guitars on the closer, there’s more than enough fueling Perfect Future
to propel it into anyone’s most-played category.
Of course there’s some impassioned jangly guitar work throughout, impassioned vocals, but to reiterate Perfect Future’s most outstanding aspect, there’s a certain beauty in the utter restraint exhibited so acutely. “If We Dance,” a few times, singles out instruments, elements, vocals, generating a surprisingly powerful experience considering the “empty” aura Perfect Future executes with such ease and sincerity. Dynamism isn’t Perfect Future’s strong point, but it’s strikingly obvious that this wasn’t the band’s intention at all. Add that to the unabashedly lovely vocals and you’ve got a recipe for some music that’s impossible not to forgive, to look past the little faults.
So take the band name with a grain of salt. Perfect Future haven’t set out to rewrite the book that American Football, The Promise Ring, and all those crybabies wrote a decade ago, but the band’s first full-length adds new life to the past; and ironically enough, it’s achieved by subtracting the excess, shaving off the fat, and carrying you away on a light cloud of earthy vocals and brilliantly executed sparse movements.