SoundBites: Russian Futurists could use a time machine

Named after a movement intent on inciting controversy through progressive art, The Russian Futurists truly disappoint with their tame and mundane The Weights on the Wheels. Maybe they need to re-read Marinettis manifesto or stop showering for a while anything to add a little edge.

The Toronto-born band, a brainchild of Matthew Adam Hart, is capable of more entertaining things. Lets Get Ready to Crumble and Still Life come to mind: creative, well-rounded tracks with vim and verve. The Futurists newest release is doused with corny lyrics and electronic, poppy sentiments more appropriate for a toddlers birthday party than an adults or even a teenagers playlist. 

Pop with an indie tint is what the Futures have always done best. Theyve never been known to blow people away with their disdain for everything normal, but they have been known to be avant-garde (perhaps by accident?). They do neither with Weights.

Hoeing Weeds Sowing Seeds, the first song on the album, is just kind of irritating. It starts off with a lo-fi electronic beat the best 14 seconds of the song, because it evokes hope of whats to come. Enter Harts winey voice. The song listens like it should be duet, but after Hart sings the question he answers it himself.

I can see why the Futurists new disc may work for some people. It has a little bit of an LCD Soundsystem in it. But its just not as creative. Take One Night, One Kiss. This one is a duet a poor mans Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. The coed lyrics are unoriginal: Were made for each other / Baby lets be lovers / and spend the rest of the night under the covers. Melodic chanting over hand claps and disco-style electronica evokes a duet from Grease, which was cool in 1978.

Redemption tracks: Golden Years and Register My Firearms? No Way! The former is carried by a distorted acoustic guitar backbone that would make a catchy hip-hop beat. But The Futurists dont waste it; the sound is a nod to Built to Spill. The latter sounds like a mellowed-out Passion Pit track.

Maybe its the Futurists affinity for repetition in every song, maybe its Harts emo-inspired voice with uninspiring lyrics, but this album is annoying. Unlike pop songs that irritate after being played out on the radio, The Weights on the Wheels evokes petulance upon first listen.

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Alexandria Times Staff

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