Future Islands – In Evening Air

January 01, 1970

(Thrill
Jockey)

 

www.thrilljockey.com

 

It’s
all about the voice — or rather, the voices. On In Evening Air, Future
Islands frontman Samuel
T. Herring can growl like Tom Waits, or he can be David Bowie, just for one
song. (That song is “Swept Inside,” a highlight.) But too often he
suggests Wall of Voodoo’s Stan Ridgway, who pushed glam-rock melodrama to the
edge of human endurance.

 

This
trio, which relocated from North Carolina from
Baltimore to
bask in Dan Deacon’s aura, defines its music as “post-wave.” That tag
is lamer than the music, which is rhythmically vigorous and musically
inventive, if not exactly futuristic. (These nine songs are firmly rooted in
1975-85.) Keyboardist J. Gerrit Welmers augments old-fashioned synth buzzes and
bleats with unexpected tintinnabulation, notably a sweet steel-drum clang
that’s most conspicuous on “Tin Man.” And bassist William Cashion
propels the upbeat numbers with swagger and sass.

 

The
Islanders’ meld of surging basslines and swooping keyboard figures may will
divert fans of early Roxy Music, Berlin-period David Bowie and any band that
ever included Peter Hook. But only Wall of Voodoo fans are likely to be
enchanted.

 

Standout Tracks: “Tin Man,”
“Swept Inside” MARK JENKINS

 

 

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