Dark and Arty
Fans of Suuns are no strangers to the band’s peculiarity—the Montreal band’s debut album Zeroes QC unwound with erratic electro spurts and pounding post-punk furor. And like Zeroes, Suun’s new release Images Du Futur is enchantingly strange, offering dark, twisting landscapes where contorted guitars and Ben Shemie’s paranoiac vocals rise out of the pervasive sonic gloom.
The two opening tracks, “Powers of Ten” and “2020,” are perhaps most representative of Suuns’ murky, enigmatic sound. On “Powers of Ten,” fuzzy, discordant riffs shiver under Shemie’s half-spoken, mumbling nasal whine, crashing into a big, progressive verse with frenetically strummed power chords. The chorus is drenched with effects, punctuated by, oddly enough, a cowbell. And “2020” skews in another direction: screeching, squealing guitar riffs cascade down, tumbling over the wub-wubbing of a dub-step bass and droning vocals. Although it’s dark and almost dissonant, the uncanny melodies and hypnotic, percussive rhythms draw you in, through the warp of hissing effects and eerie echoes.
Suuns exhibits this knack for making darkly intriguing melodies out of disparate sounds on “Sunspot.” As always, Shemie croons over chiming synths and brooding guitars soaked in layers and layers of haze, creating the feel of a sunspot sinuously slinking along the star’s surface in a rambling, kraut-inspired jam. But Images Du Futur is also a guitar-heavy record. Joe Yarmush’s gritty, insistent guitar pulsates above driving percussion on “Mirror, Mirror,” and carries you through the dystopic “2020.”
But not everything on Images Du Futur is particularly interesting or progressive. The spacey “Edie’s Dream” hangs in stasis, suspended amid ethereal synths, and “Bambi” is smooth but sheer, all surface and no depth. “Minor Work” could be something by a slicker, more electro Radiohead, but it just moseys along, as if unwinding in a slow, infinite loop. “Holocene City,” too, seems to circle back on itself, its various throbbing synths treading already-beaten ground.
Images Du futur emerges from its nebulous murk as a collage of sorts, a prophetic vision of the future according to Suuns, depicted in thudding cadences and surging synths, a shadowy, strange world unto itself.