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Archive for March, 2011

Independent Weekly: “Why You Shouldn’t Take Future Islands For Granted.”

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If someone derisively calls Future Islands “a live band,” just punch them in the face. They do indeed happen to be probably the best live band around right now, but too many people sleep on the records or just sleep on the band in general. So, here’s a rant about why that needs to stop:

A Future Islands show begins politely enough. The Baltimore-via-Greenville, N.C., trio—kind of, sort of claimed by the Triangle, too—walks onto the stage and sheepishly waves or nods to the crowd. Sam Herring provides some warm-hearted “thanks for coming” banter; mostly, he just seems out-of-his-mind excited to play a show.

They start: An ominous bouncing beat from J. Gerrit Welmers’ synthesizer drops, and bassist William Cashion allows a grimy, melodic bass line. Herring, the frontman, arches his brows, hunches over and begins stalking the edges of the stage. He smacks himself in the chest and face, like it’s a hardcore show.

For the next 45 minutes or so, Future Islands tear through their damaged, often tragic dance songs for the pleasure of another devoted and seemingly ever-expanding crowd. Herring’s a nut in front of an audience, moving so quickly it seems that he’s teleporting from one side of a usually pretty small performance space to the other. He sings in a strange cadence that’s kind of British but maybe just nebulously fancy, always manic. At the right moment, his voice downshifts into a throaty, demonic wail, raising the emotional stakes of whatever bittersweet song he’s performing. There’s really nothing like it…

Written by Brandon

March 3rd, 2011 at 3:33 am