By Robin Mumford of The Indie Plug
Here at Our Sound, we love to listen to something fresh, and Future Radio has let us do just that. Their debut album ‘Freedom’ has everything, and when we say everything, we mean literally everything. It has intricate guitar riffs, meaningful lyrics, and even a narrative voice intertwined between each song, listed as acts.
This new 15-track concept album deals with the notion of emancipation from the ordinary and encourages the passionate pursuit of purpose.
“I think the idea of freedom is universally relatable and something that everybody yearns for”, explained front man Johnny Future.
“I wrote this album after quitting my 8-to-5 to pursue music full-time. So, in that sense, the album is based on my real-life experience.”
The album starts with a track called ‘Act 1: Tune in’, and from the off I was hooked. This addition of having story-like tracks between each song is unique, and it allows the band to tinker with different elements. Whilst Johnny Future is in charge of the music, Drikus Roets creates visuals that accompany each track. This band goes far beyond the music and uses a plethora of elements to bring their performance to life.
As soon as the first act begins, Future Radio ignite into a ball of flames with their first proper track of the album, ‘Fire With Fire’. At first listen, this is just a rock and roll song that aims to supply the fuel, but what lies beneath the aggression is something a lot more meaningful. This song tackles the relevant topic of the abuse of political power for self-gain. Acting as both a warning and foreboding, this track encapsulates what Future Radio are all about. Whilst it may be a meaningful number, you may find yourself not only shouting the lyrics after listening, but also complementing your vocals by humming the infectious riff.
Continuing your journey through the simplistic yet effective narrative, act two drops you seamlessly into the depths of warfare and the track title, ‘Run Baby, Run’ could not be more fitting. Despite what the narrative voice may want you to think, this song explores the concept of running from a relationship that’s stuck in a comfort zone. Future follows suite in this track, as the rock and roll continues and the riffs complemented by vocals are Foo Fighter reminiscent.
Guitar riffs clearly take reign over everything in this album, but songs such as ‘Break Us’ and ‘DOI’ use different instruments to allow a transition in the bands sound. It is always important to be able to change sound throughout albums and songs, and Future Radio clearly achieves this. Having said that, the first of the two does have a good crack at being a 70s band in the latter half of the song.
"I clearly remember thinking to myself, when conceptualising Future Radio, that it can’t be just another rock band. Since then the idea has evolved quite dramatically,” Johnny explains.
“Future Radio is not a band, it’s a concept, it’s a movement, it’s art. We like to call it Future Rock.”
‘Turn Up the Music’ must also be mentioned, a slower song with elements of aggression shown in earlier songs on the album. The most notable component of this song is the singalong chorus that has all the potential to be successful. It reminds me of nothing I’ve heard before and whilst it can be dubbed as an easy flowing song that is very catchy, it is the uniqueness that catches my attention the most.
Overall, this album certainly has its surprises and because it is quite unique, it will score well. Pulsating riffs are complemented by the vocals that seem to effortlessly fit together like a jigsaw, and the band is hellbent that it is art and a ‘concept’ rather than an album, and that we agree. Though half of the songs will never be listened to again due to them being a narrative voice rather than a song, the album must be listened to from start to finish to understand the brilliance in storytelling that Future Radio supply. ***1/2
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