Future Islands - In Evening Air - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Future Islands - In Evening Air

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7.5 Release Date:2010-09-20

Future Islands are the dark side of Baltimore and their heavy laden synth sound and macabre strewn croon throw us headlong into this their sophomore album, In Evening Air. The trio are shameless magpies in their influences, which doff a cap to the post-punk sound of New Order. Peter Hook's bass sound is ubiquitous throughout the nine tracks on show here.

There's certainly a gloomy and sinister hangover on the album which is evident in 'Tin Man', with it operatic and haunting keyboard riff. Sam Herring's grim vocal delivery paints a decadent picture, which is hypnotic whilst being somewhat claustrophobic.

'An Apology' is of similar ilk, if slightly more trancey, while Herring maintains a vocal that Tindersticks' Stuart Staples would be more than proud of. The wall of sound that the synths project completely encloses Herring's crawling vocal and the droning organ sound gives the song a fitting epitaph.

'Swept Inside' is all chiming keys and New Order bass and Herring's almost ethereal vocal sounds like a distinct incoherent visceral gabble. Other influences shine through in 'Inch of Dust' with a dusting of early OMD and Suicide battling a bleak and dank landscape.

'Vireo's Eye' hoards a bucketful of 80s synths and spews out a gothic stomp along with a bassline that throbs, twists and turns and rips through the heart of the song. Bashing away in the background are brick heavy beats and Herring's rant plays a somewhat second fiddle to the maelstrom of sounds on show.

Future Islands focus on the blacker side of the synthesiser sound and juxtapose it with gloomy/downbeat vocals - it's a real winner throughout. It's a superb find and recalls the early sound of post-punk electronic while delivering it in a contemporary and new directional avenue.

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