Review Summary: Claiming to have traveled from the future, Future PEERS debut with a multi-genre sound that plays like an indie rock highlight reel.
The story for Future PEERS begins where prior project Boys Who Say No ends, as they chose to start fresh and embrace a new revamped style. Previously, they have covered much ground by gaining respect of their local scene and even touring in the U.S. with Canadian acts such as Mac DeMarco and (a personal favorite) PUP. They began this new chapter by gaining the attention of some big names, such as Broken Social Scene’s own Kevin Drew, who they’ve been mentoring under, and award-winning producer Shawn Everett (Weezer, Alabama Shakes), who moved them out to L.A. to record this sundry record.
If you head over to Future PEERS’ Bandcamp profile (where you can hear the album in its entirety) there’s a short description of the band that states that they’re “from the future” and that they “make music that sounds like it might be from the future”; well, they should consider underlining the “might” in that sentence, as they’re musical direction takes on a collage concept by utilizing the “Best of” from several indie groups. It’s not necessarily a futile mark, the grand scope of their melodies might come off as native to the casual listener, but to a trained one it comes off as bit of an overstated one.
What’s truly impressive and striking is not the uniqueness of the project but the amount of diversity spread throughout this 9-song first chapter. Trying to get a grasp on what type of sound they’re going for overall is nearly impossible to pin down. They move from off-kilter bass-driven indie rock tracks such as “All I Ever Want Is You” recalling the artist Glass Animals, then they move to a funky indietronica number “Time We Went Away” with a chorus that would make Daft Punk smirk. “For Friends” is a twisted carnival sounding jam which could be tagged as noise pop, blending the loudness of Sleigh Bells and the oddly cohesive experimentation of Animal Collective. Another great tune is “Start A Fire” which has a “jungle” vibe and, at moments, the vocals reach Passion Pit level of excitement. The main single off the record, “Craft,” marks a shift toward “heavier” ground, lassoing in legendary indie rock act Wolf Parade’s swagger into the mix. Continuing down this same path for the rest of the record, the two following tracks, “*** Noises” and “Too Reserved,” contain hoarser vocals in the vein of “The Walkmen” and melody’s similar to The Pixies, which taken by themselves, might give the idea that they’re a punk band. Keeping The Pixies in frame, the closer is a soft acoustic rock ballad with both male and female vocals, which gains momentum until it’s triumphant finish.
If their intention with this record was to inspire the future of indie music, they quite clearly failed. However, if their intention was to drop a debut that put them on the music world’s “watch-list” they admirably succeeded. This album may not end up on anyone’s “Tops” list, but it’s set the stage for future efforts having the potential too. The skill is there. My thoughts on the next step of the band would be to break ties from their numerous comparisons and develop a wholly distinctive sound. Overall though, this is a satisfying debut project that deserves your attention and multiple spins.
Review Link: (http://www.speak-sound.com/single-post/2016/12/13/Album-of-the-Week)