Sci-fi futuristic psychedelic punk noise rock – that’s about the closest thing to a definition of what type of music London duo Black Futures produce, and, yes, it’s a lot.
Admittedly, unless you dig for it, it can be confusing to work out who Black Futures are. Their only online presence tells a story of the future, destruction, and the apocalypse, and it’s not until you dive into their debut album ‘Never Not Nothing’ that who they are and what they’re doing becomes clear.
We’re introduced with ‘N.N.N.’, a slowly building synth piece that sounds reminiscent of sci-fi film intros, and holds a lot of similarity to the title music to the 80s inspired TV series, Stranger Things. It leads directly into the deep and repetitive guitar riff of ‘Love’ before the beat drops and the screams of “Ten minutes until the end of the world! Let go! Let go!” enter on repeat as the instrumentation continuously gets louder and more aggressive.
‘Me.TV’ features a computer-rendered voice saying “Turn down your Me.TV and turn up for your community”. It’s the beginning of a track fuelled by a social statement on the breakdown of community and lack of individuality in a society of our self-indulgent media culture. This is when the end of the world and apocalyptic future themes of the record and of Black Futures really starts to become clearer.
‘Tunnel Vision’ is the most energetic, high tempo, get your body moving track of the record. Each time the chorus comes round, you can’t help but shout along. Yet, having said this, there are no low energy moments in this album. When the duo do decide to take a softer approach, as they do with ‘Karma Ya Dig!?’, there’s still a regular injection of heavy bass and beat drops to bring the tempo back up to 110%.
Some of the social-political messaging and storytelling in ‘Never Not Nothing’ can get lost in the energy and vibrancy of the music, and is a record that barely cools down from the first moment right up until its last. Having said that, it begs to be played as loud as your speakers will allow before blowing.
Black Futures have created a story of future apocalyptic rage in ‘Never Not Nothing’, a strong first outing from which, with a bit more fine-tuning, could potentially birth a wave of sci-fi punk to the forefront.