Experimental cosmic thrash sensation Future Death are just about ready to drop debut album Special Victim. Pitchfork described the opener Riot Trains as “Thrashing, sugary-sweet” and the third track Basements as “A solid introduction to the band’s metal-goes-to-the-candy-store-approach.”. On listening to the album myself, I was so bombarded by the face-melting mechanical noise distortion, I had to allow my poor, defenseless brain a moment or so to adapt to the situation and new alien sounds spewing from my equally as poor and defenseless laptop.
Not the most comfortable of listens, but really, who wants to be comfortable? Ick.
In saying this, if you are just about to open Soundcloud on a new tab to have a cheeky listen – brace yourself – it ain’t pretty. The first minute into track one was all it took for me to declare this as the worst album I have ever listened to in my life, and there’s been a few. But I didn’t abandon Future Death and toss them to the junk pile just yet. Beneath the raucous of primal lamentations via confused guitars and Alice Glass-sounding pained vocals, is a group who are playing from a sacred creative space. Future Death intertwine as one being; an enmeshment of souls acting out a raw, unblemished admission of feelings as they are happening in that exact moment. There is no filter and there is no touching-up. This group is operating from that little honest space from the very bottom of our hearts and projecting it out in a way reflective of today’s technological cultural landscape.
Future Death, another new act hailing from Austin, came together in 2012 and by 2013 had signed with Bloodmoss Records and released their debut EP that summer. Listening to this album in it’s entirety created an odd scene in my head. It wasn’t the lyrics that were being churned out somewhere far away in the distance through a muffled speaker, or the thrashing, diabolical noise of instruments bordering on free-styling their way through each track, it was the atmosphere and the feeling that this crazy collaboration evoked.
I pictured a world, years into the future inhabited by angry alien youths, surfer-stomping and skank-dancing all over the place in some seedy punk-rock night club’s basement, releasing the raw energy pent up inside them caused by their anger and disappointment at the reality of life around them which turned out to be such a brick shithouse of hardships instead of the wonderland they had grown up to expect and believe in. Sound dramatic? Listen to Riot Trains.
This album does not invite you to the party or posses a front door with a friendly neighbourhood welcome matt; this is an album that presents you with a powerful set of emotions that you either relate to or you don’t. This is an album that sounds like people who are pissed off and frustrated with life and need to explode out into a blind rage and lose control. It is the very sound of contemporary chaos and total abandonment of inhibitions and it demands a certain level of creative respect, while at the same time not giving a damn about your measly opinion.
The lead singer’s vocals are reminiscent of Karen O or Alice Glass. This element of a female front added an interesting, more vulnerable aspect to the album. Her voice is jagged and desperate and makes you want to shout along with her. I enjoyed this twist to the overall production style as it was in interesting effect on what could have been a very male-orientated sound.
So in conclusion I have to say this is an album worth checking out, albeit at your own peril. It is a journey down the rabbit hole that leaves little room for an inhalation of breath and absolutely none for an exhale. Through the cracks in the chaos and noise shines a sweetness and a few brief moments of smooth clarity with gentle synth. This is what saves Special Victim from being to overwhelming for general human consumption. These brief interludes glue the tracks together with an element of humanity, before plunging back into the urban, robotic jungle.
Go get your crash helmets on before pressing play.