Posts Tagged ‘post-punk’

Year Future

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Year Future 12″ EP
Gold Standard Laboratories, 2003

The sadly defunct GSL label had an amazing streak in the early 2000s, cranking out landmark releases with a diverse roster of the era’s best bands including The Locust, Mars Volta, !!!, Chromatics, GoGoGo Airheart, I Am Spoonbender, Sunshine, The Vanishing, and many more — many of which will likely be featured here sometime in future. The GSL aesthetic was ever-shifting and adventurous, from lush prog rock to icy neo-goth to hip-hip and weirdo noise, all somehow capturing the anarchic spirit of punk before punk became a commodified cultural trinket to be consumed at your local Hot Topic. Label head Sonny Kay’s good taste always warranted consideration, so after a string of notable bands featuring him as a member, like Angel Hair and my faves, The VSS (who’s essential Nervous Circuits album recently got a deluxe re-issue treatment on the Hydra Head label), I was primed to hear his latest band, Year Future. Their debut is probably the best representation of the band’s potential, along with their Hidden Hand 7″ released about a year later. And as much as I love these two releases, their debut album, First World Fever was a tedious mess I can barely listen to, a huge disappointment full of clumsy lyrics mixed front and center, dully spouted for 40-some minutes in Sonny’s whiny monotone shout. His “singing” style can be grating on the earlier releases as well, but there they were at least buried in the mix and work as an oppressive force without drowning out the band’s interesting and dense swirl of echoey guitar and synth. At their best, Year Future connected the dots between proto post-punk groups like Warsaw-era Joy Division, Public Image Limited, The Birthday Party, and Killing Joke, to the jaded Gravity Records-era post-hardcore bands like The VSS, Clikitat Ikatowi, Antioch Arrow, and Heroin. Check out some of Year Future’s finest recorded moments from a pair of tracks from their 4-song debut EP below…


Year Future – “All Of Your Eggs”
Year Future – “Some Bodies”


Year Future bio on GSL
Buy Year Future releases

Eric the Red

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Life After Tuesday / My Hero Halo 7″
Caulfield/The Secret Sonata, 1998

As part of the groundswell that developed into the postpunk revival at the turn of the century, this 3-piece from Lincoln, Nebraska offered one of the best Wire/Gang of Four/Feelies-inspired singles you’ll ever hear. With minimal, sophisticated songwriting that was lost with the latter, more popular postpunk revival bands who peaked in the early 2000s, Eric the Red’s sole release features subtly shifting layers of tense, pulsating guitar and nervy vocals that echo of the earnest voice of Dave Callahan fromĀ Moonshake. The band merged key players from two veteran Nebraskan bands, including Rich Higgins of Sideshow, who released a number of bouncing post-hardcore records and toured during the early ’90s, as well as Shane Aspegren of Lullaby for the Working Class, who were a younger alt-country popĀ band that made a name for themselves through releases on Bar/None Records and numerous treks across the U.S. The mixing of an experienced punk with younger, musically-inclined upstarts resulted in this gem, which blows away a number, if not most, of the overly-hyped postpunk bands that followed a few years later.


Eric The Red – “Life After Tuesday”
Eric The Red – “My Hero Halo