The M’s – Future Woman

5 out of 5

Label: Polyvinyl

Produced by: Steve Versaw

‘Future Woman’ is one of those misleadingly sun-shiney albums, where the infectious pop hooks distract from how raucously noisy the whole thing is.  And yes, those hooks would make this a great album alone: each track on the disc is pretty much perfection in timing and execution, our guitars and bass and drums rattling along loosely – jangly, jarringly – but with purposs; choruses belted out enough for recognition but not overkill; bridges properly enhancing songs and not over-extending their welcome…  So the songs, at their core, already click.  But it’s the noise that pushes it over the edge into genius, producer / band member Steve Versaw doing a good Brian Deck impression (who engineered) via his blessed capturing of various drumming layers, not to mention the strings and horns adding to the pop and noise.  The group thanks Wilco in the liner notes; it’s a good namecheck, harnessing Summerteeth-era catchiness and the sad smiles tone, but the music has been grown in the kitchensink mindset of the indie world.  The only thing really missing is a lyric sheet, as the bits and pieces that can be caught are pretty good, but it’d be interesting to compare what I’m hearing with what’s *actually* being sung.

Lastly: sequencing, one of those make-or-break qualities.  And at five stars, you’re right in thinking its been made.  Careening from all out power-pop (Shawnee Dupree) to more paced foot-stompers (Going Over It), even the slower moments – like acoustic track Light I Love – get buffered especially, such as, in the just mentioned case, following the song up with My Gun, which is probably the loudest song on the disc.

This is the kind of band you sort of *don’t* want to share the stage with, because it’s pretty impossible to not be completely overtaken by their songs.

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