Unwound
The Future of What


3.8
excellent

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
August 23rd, 2014 | 171 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


The Future of What

This album title is so fitting it should be glaringly obvious in retrospect. You see, The Future of What is a transitional piece... a sort of glimpse of what is to come. Many fans of their brash, more overtly-punk early albums are quick to dismiss the change in Unwound's sound on this release. Conversely, fans of their later material -- specifically Repetition -- might consider Future a less consistent version of their acclaimed later works. It's been said that much of Future's track list would be right at home on Repetition, especially tracks like "Natural Disasters" or "New Energy", so why does it always slip through the cracks when fans recall their favourite Unwound moments?

The Future of What is Unwound's first attempt at an experimental overhaul, featuring sampled loops and bleak atmosphere not prominent on previous releases, and is one of the most varied albums in their discography. As such, it can easily be shrugged off as a jack-of-all-trades that never quite capitalizes enough on any distinct attribute. This is somewhat of a dysphemism for an album that has something for everyone, as nearly every positive thing you can say about Unwound is present at some point on this release. Justin Trosper delivers his lyrics in his signature 'cryptic-yet-uninterested' fashion, and is hypnotically dreary on songs like "Descension" and "Re-Enact the Crime". Sara Lund is impeccable on drums throughout, but especially on "Demolished". Lund has a habit of being almost mechanical in her delivery, yet still manages to stand out. Vern Rumsey is stellar on bass, though not as prominently mixed as he is on later albums. He offers a tasty blend of rumbling undertones on tracks like "Natural Disasters" and more upbeat bass riffs as heard on "Equally Stupid". As a whole The Future of What is the Unwound we know and love.

I was quick to disregard The Future of What upon initial listens. Like many listeners that had only discovered the band within the last few years, my first experience was with their magnum opus Leaves Turn Inside You. The album set the bar so irrefutably high that everything else seemed to pale in comparison, like developing a taste for a fine scotch -- once you grow accustomed to single-malt, it's easy to develop a distaste for blended varieties. The Future of What is indeed a blend of everything Unwound had yet to offer in pure form, but is by no means inferior.

"Disillusion wouldn't be the end"

And it wasn't. Disillusion is a perfect descriptor for my initial experience listening to The Future of What. I felt disappointed upon realizing that things weren't as good as I had initially perceived. My mistake was in thinking that this was indicative of the album's quality. I came to realize that was the imprint this album left on me, as a sort of depressing precognition -- that things don't always get better, but often cycle in a disoriented oblivious loop. Fuck. Pardon my french.

The Future of What?



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user ratings (227)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Supercoolguy64
August 23rd 2014


9999 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

FINALLY A REVIEW

Digging: Hum - Electra 2000

Jots
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2014


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Pretty short review, but there's only so much to be said about this that hasn't been said about Unwound in general, so I didn't want to be redundant.



Bottom line, this is probably the most under appreciated album they have, imo. I'm baffled this wasn't reviewed already. Listen to it.

Jots
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2014


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

@supercoolguy - yeah no shit, lol. this was in dire need

Supercoolguy64
August 23rd 2014


9999 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

WHERE'S YOUR ENERGY?

THERE'S NO ENERGY!

Jots
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2014


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

*also, a lot of people hate the last three tracks "excuse me..." "...but pardon...""...my french" but these were released as bonus

tracks... Swan is technically the last track on the album

Supercoolguy64
August 23rd 2014


9999 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The vinyl version is essentially the official version, the CD/iTunes ver. is the "deluxe edition" that comes with bonus tracks no one cares about lol

Chortles
August 23rd 2014


21494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice



this album is the shit

ExplosiveOranges
August 24th 2014


4408 Comments


Pos'd.

Jots
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2014


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

thanks Orange

clercqie
August 24th 2014


6521 Comments


Pretty short review, but there's only so much to be said about this that hasn't been said about Unwound in general, so I didn't want to be redundant.

I like this, but it results in this review catering more to people already familiar with the band's discography. Which isn't bad per se, but newcomers won't have too much to take away from this review. E.g.

Justin Trosper delivers his lyrics in his signature 'cryptic-yet-uninsterested' fashion, and is hypnotically dreary on songs like "Descension" and "Re-Enact the Crime". "Demolished" features some of the most infectious instrumentals in the Unwound library. Sara Lund delivers consistently tight drumming, and Vern Rumsey is stellar on bass, though not as prominent as he is on later albums. As a whole The Future of What is the Unwound we know and love.

I like the description of the singer, but the overview for the other band members is rather bland and doesn't say much. I'd personally have mentioned some standout moment for them, like "Rumsey's bass playing on track such-and-such manages to drive the song forward but doesn't interfere with the guitar of *guy's name here*." (This is bad phrasing but should give a general idea; note that I also haven't heard this particular album).

Otherwise, this is a good, to-the-point review, which I like.

Oh and good call on the quality of certain blends.

Jots
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2014


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks, I'll add a bit more to it..

clercqie
August 24th 2014


6521 Comments


You don't have to if you don't want to, just giving some pointers for possible future use. :]

Jots
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2014


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

too late hehe

Hovse
August 24th 2014


2728 Comments


sweet rev,pos'd
this band is one of the best bands ever

Jots
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2014


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah buddy

BMDrummer
August 25th 2014


14683 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

third album in, amazing stuff so far

Jots
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2014


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Unwound's discog is amazing man, you're in for a treat

BMDrummer
August 25th 2014


14683 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

loving it so far, reminds me of Fugazi a bit

Supercoolguy64
August 25th 2014


9999 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ALL I SEE IS THE END OF THE END OF THE END

BMDrummer
August 25th 2014


14683 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

gonna jam the s/t next since it's short



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