Info: With influences ranging from Daft Punk to At The Drive-In, Joy Division to Ennio Morricone. The Future West are a "Retro-Psych-Wave" 5 piece from Dundalk, Louth. Currently standing with a live show full of spontaneity and going the D.I.Y/Lo-Fi route, the band have just finished recording their debut album which was self-produced in their home studio. The record was recently released on the 25th of March 2017 alongside a run of UK and Irish shows. All past releases are currently available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and all other good streaming services.
A solid foundation of neo-psychedelia, experimental lo-fi and quirky entertainment is the order of the day on the debut album from Dundalk troupe The Future West, Holy Shit, Here Come The Future West. This is immediately apparent on opener 'The Last Known Soldier', at times a throwback to mid-to-late 60's psych-rock, along the lines of previously mentioned acts around these parts, The Electric Prunes and Strawberry Alarm Clock. After the 80's tinged musings of 'Tall Tailed Truth', The Future West present the most appropriately titled, '60's Psychedelic Acid Jam'. Imagine Stanley Kubrick sticking his head into the studio when Sgt. Peppers was being recorded and making a few suggestions, this is what you'd probably end up with. It's unnerving and fascinating in equal measure, the carnival theme adding to that old world feel on a lovely piece of experimental contemporary psych.
The Future West - Gone Too Long
One thing this album provides in abundance is plenty of variety, they are all noticeably from The Future West locker, but deliberate different stylings across the tracks ensures the listener's interest is maintained from start to finish. On 'A Way Today', there is a delightful mixture of old school garage-rock and a contemporary alternative twist, bass, vocals, shimmering guitar and almost flippant percussion creating a lively and upbeat mood across its just shy of three minutes length.
If the first half of the LP contained short and spritely tracks, the second half goes for longer and more ambitious escapades as the band embrace their experimental side with abandon. 'Committed Sin' is a groover with everything cranked up, distortion, tempo and soaring vox, there's also some electronic pad effects at the half-way mark, paving the way for the tone to drop. The clutter is brushed away and the track departs into a day-glo atmosphere, culminating in an almost orchestral finale complete with organ to wrap things up.
With 'No One's Missing You' we are presented with a true gem, it's an 80's rock-pop piece of loveliness, rapid bass-lines circle around synths and drum pads, with Watters' vocal a real delight on this one. A big highlight for me, and probably my favourite on the album, is 'Gone Too Long' (above video), from a ponderous guitar riff and downtempo drum beat, the track draws us into an unsuspecting hypnotic slumber at its outset, before fully embracing a curiously fitting ska sound. Possibly the most contemporary sounding track completes the album, on 'Seven Ways To Get Ahead', The Future West meld the alternative rock sounds of Interpol or The National with the coeval folk-rock bravado you'd expect from fellow Dundalk act Third Smoke.
Holy Shit, Here Come The Future West is a unique Irish album, for all of its modern influences, the past is scattered throughout, almost subconsciously, this combination, coupled with the sense of happy abandon, leaves the listener both beguiled and satisfied in equal measure for the entire duration of the journey. The authenticity and desire to create something entirely different by the musicians shines through also, and as a music fan, I couldn't ask for anything more.
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