Crude Futures
So So Modern- Crude Futures

Enduring and endearing Wellington band So So Modern has finally released their debut album after six years and as many EPs. Capturing their energy and enthusiasm, the apocalyptic-themed Crude Futures develops their recent style of long, drawn-out, abstracted and fragmented post punk/math rock songs. The slow buildup of ‘Life In The Undergrowth’ echos the steady rise of the quartet. Starting off a small, gnarled seed, it grows roots and pushes through the dirt, growing crookedly upwards. SSM have always been about the post-apocalyptic shrieks, mathematical rhythms and euphoric synths – here they take on a new life, sounding a bit like Space Invaders in the opening track. Though the group’s well-known electro intensity is still apparent (‘Worst Is Yet To Come’), Crude Futures‘ overwhelming sense is of maturity and modernity. Running with the apocalyptic theme of questionable futures, they extend their yelps over samples in bridges, juxtapose more classy, snazzy rhythms over themselves and interlock their riffs even tighter. ‘Dendrons’, in the vein of At The Drive In, enjoys scatty post punk as fun as it is fleeting; while follower ‘Be Anywhere’ progresses with lingering, interchanging vocals and guitars broken by blissful breaks. Lurching and vocal-less ‘Berlin’ is a glistening math rock jitterbug, coated in nuclear muck and burrowing under your skin. The mimicking of Deerhoof’s whimsical guitar intricacy in ‘Island Hopping/Channel Crossing’ is corrected with the sudden onset of bombastic, throbbing bass and paired vocal directives, though closer ‘Give Everything’ reaffirms that Battles vibe imbued in most of the songs. It’s kind of impossible to guess where they’ll go next, and it’s nice to see they’ve pushed on from their original sound. Crude Futures shows a band in the throes of conceptual art, though they’re spreading their message through so many styles here it can be overwhelming. Crude Futures is released in conjunction with documentary/surrealist photographer John Lake’s exhibition of the same name.

Posted by Sarah Gooding under Album, Reviews
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