London doesn’t strike as the most natural birthplace for a pop-punk band. Suburbs and provincial towns seem to be the de facto stomping grounds for such groups who can often sound like desperate attempts to cling onto a second-hand Americana that got damp and diluted on it’s way over the pond. Futures however are a pop-punk band from London, and you can tell for all the right reasons.
The presentation on their self released debut ‘The Holiday’ is sublime. The band sound up and above the quality and production value levels of established genre acts backed with big money. Impressive for a artist pushing their own wares DIY. This professional cutting edge doesn’t end with the quality of finish. This is confident, mature pop-punk that doesn’t waste time in the whiney slums of gimmicky, clichÃ©d deja vu that similar bands often find themselves in; crowded out in a heaving mass of sound-a-likes with no fresh takes or ideas. Instead, Futures have skipped such remedial re-runs and elevated themselves to the far more sophisticated bracket of the pop-punk complete with an exciting sense of scale and ambition at the centre of their music.
Each track glides and saunters through its run time, steering clear of the headless chicken melodramatics that plague so many bands who call the pop-prefix their home. The vocals are happily free of both the epidemic diseases of USA faux-twang and the hilariously over played English accent singing we’re seen so much of recently. With such a strong sense of themselves felt throughout the record, worries about sincerity and authenticity seem ridiculous. London is as much a city as New York, Chicago, LA and any other sprawling metropolis out to the west, and perhaps it’s the band’s origins in the capital that have freed from the grass-is-greener cultural gazing that so many other UK acts fall prey to. Without the usual geographical identity crisis, Futures have been able to cut their own heady path above the ever so ordinary and kick off from a position that sounds like a band with three full albums under their belts.
In terms of big tracks, all seven stand out as equally excellent and you never once feel like a punch has been pulled in terms of effort, ambition or execution. There is no point recommending individual tracks when the album as a whole is so consistent and coherent. ‘The Holiday’ is a smooth and elegant display of how to do British blockbuster pop-punk without imitating the vocal chords of an American or losing yourself to the corporate music monster. Futures should be supported and applauded for hitting such a pace so early into their lifespan. With this debut in their arsenal, the pop-punk consensus will hopefully choke on whatever beverage they’re attempting to guzzle down at the exact moment their shown this album and exactly how to do their genre justice.
As pop-punk begins to splinter off into a dozen more off-shoot sub-genres tinged with hardcore, crunk and whatever else catches, it’s good to see that the future of the plain old vanilla flavour is in aptly named good hands.
Written by Greg Johnson