“With this release, The Futures League have tapped into a more artful form of psych rock that very naturally and easily blends influences of the past with a sound that is, indeed, of the future. This is exciting, and it’s also going to be on repeat all summer.”
Artist: The Futures League
EP: Don’t Be A Drag
Genre: Psych Rock
RIYL: The Black Keys, Beck, Spoon
With the release of Don’t Be A Drag, The Futures League joins the ranks of what is shaping up to be a 60s psych-rock renaissance of sorts among California and West Coast bands. What separates them from the throngs of artists currently being lumped together, however, is the ability to translate the influences of beach rock of the past with a more modern glam pop sensibility. And what makes them rise further still is their knack for crafting a catchy-minus-the-kitsch single.
Members Jon Arman (vocals/guitar), Jack Rose (guitar), Scott Ruth (bass/vocals) and John Fontana (drums) rock with attitude, harvesting that heavy garage rock thump and lighting it on fire. The bells and whistles aren’t needed; this is rock that’s muscular, drops down low and sits there spring loaded for release.
“Give My Lovin’ A Try” is an earworm. This is just one of those songs that starts digging its way straight into your brain from the first note to the last…in a good way, of course. “Women, Trials & Tribulations” feels like a transitional song, one that bridges the accessibility gap between the uber-catchy first track and the decidedly darker (and heavier) “I Seen Jesus”. The former includes some fantastically delicate guitar work (sounding a bit like a harpsichord at moments) while the latter heads into a more blues-swamp style featuring a mean piano solo and again, some new shades of guitar work.
“Too Many Lies” veers into a more glam pop/punk rock direction feeling equally at home with Diamond Dogs-era Bowie as it would a late night beach party. A perfect blend of California surf pop and double guitar rock. “I Wanna Go” closes out this five-track EP with a natural extension out of the previous track with a foot-stomping rhythm, relentless guitar riffs and some unexpected turns along the way.
The tunes presented on Don’t Be A Drag are simple, but they’re executed with a precision that belies the garage rock attitude. Stripping away the extraneous is something that many artists can’t get a handle on; the ability to edit ideas that make melody, rhythm and performance the focus. With this release, The Futures League have tapped into a more artful form of psych rock that very naturally and easily blends influences of the past with a sound that is, indeed, of the future. This is exciting, and it’s also going to be on repeat all summer.
The Futures League website: http://www.entertheleague.com/