reviewed by Anna Alger
Go back in time with the music of futurekids on their new album, This is Everything. The Winnipeg band draw inspiration from 90s alternative rock, putting their own quirky twist on simple pop songs. Playing with distortion and focusing on atmosphere in their music, the band set themselves apart from “revivalist” groups.
This is Everything opens with the grungy, yet melodic “Bob Ross.” Its driving bass locks the song into a pleasant loop of fun, indie rock. Sweet and low vocal harmonies carry “Americana,” a forlorn ode to the genre. The album’s sound takes a playful turn with the casual, brash vocals on “White Girl in a Wu-Tang Shirt,” recalling a more articulate version of the spoken word rambles featured in some Pavement songs. There is an effortlessness to the sound of futurekids, but don’t be fooled – they have sharp wit akin to that of the 90s indie rockers who have clearly inspired them.
With songs like “Bounce,” futurekids linger a little too long on a sound with few dynamics. They’re capable of writing songs that are original and display their versatility, which is clear once again in the distorted kitsch of “Teen Touch.” (A choice lyric is “Got a mixtape in my heart for you – just haven’t sequenced it yet.”) One of the strongest songs on the record comes later: the attitude filled “Helen Bishop, 25.” futurekids speak of the hear and now as they bash “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” over tumbling riffs. Closer, “Inchoate (This is Everything)” is endearing, providing a gentle finish to the album.
This is Everything is somewhat of an uneven sounding record, but when futurekids hit their stride, they’re able to charm. One part off kilter rock, another driving pop, the band are developing a textured identity.
Top Tracks: “White Girl in a Wu-Tang Shirt,” “Helen Bishop, 25,” “The Diminutive”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)