Feed a Cold, Starve a…
After a slew of EPs and a successful European tour with noise-mongers The Locust, LA’s Year Future has emerged with their debut album First World Fever. Merging a punk backbone with an experimental edge and biting lyrics dripping with political commentary, Year Future’s first offering is saturated with influence from other West Coast bands ranging from System of a Down to the Dead Kennedys.Consisting of revamped versions of six previously released songs and five new tracks, FWF has a solid flow, betraying the album’s piecemeal assembly. Founding members Rockey Crane and Sonny Kay are the driving force behind the band, on guitars and vocals respectively. Crane’s guitar is reminiscent of East Bay Ray — treble cranked and drenched in reverb, with every chord and solo he executes rooted in DK’s legendary sound. Likewise, Kay’s lyrics and message take a page from the book of Jello Biafra, holding up the lens to our American way of life and making the observations that our leaders don’t want to hear. On “Vehicular Baptism” he sings “Combustion engine Eucharist / The fossil-fueled escape route to the West.” And much like Biafra, Kay’s squealing, snotty whine of a voice is definitely something you’ll either love or hate.
“Lord of the Rungs,” “Rather Be Cowboy” and “The Hidden Hand” are all rooted in punk attitude, but several other tracks show a wider range of influence. “Black Sun” slows down considerably, with synth and female vocals adding ambiance to the subdued track propelled by Pete Lyman’s bass. “Chained At the Ankles” opens with mid-paced single-note picking that builds momentum throughout the song before dumping the listener into a scathing breakup phone message doused with squealing, fluctuating noise.
According to the band’s website, “First World Fever is something you, I and everyone we know are infected with.” FWF the album isn’t aimed at mass infectious appeal; instead it delivers a tight, unified package aimed at fans of experimental music with substance.