The Future Exes – First Thought – EP Review
Right on. That was my immediate first thought pressing play on this new EP called First Thought by The Future Exes. I already had a few conversations with this band that already put my mind at ease – before even listening to the EP we had already talked about Dave Grohl, Alice In Chains, Pink Floyd and more. On paper – or at least in the thoughts in my head – there shouldn’t be anything stopping me from liking music laden with influences such as these…
I’ve taken longer than normal to fully digest this new recording from The Future Exes – but that time taken has been justified! This music DEMANDS further listens! Anytime you can catch me angrily shaking my fist at a computer screen, cursing the invention of the EP and how FEW songs that format can spare…well, you’re onto something.
There are SO many elements of sounds you LOVE in the music of The Future Exes. This EP First Thought shows a range of sonic influences that you can hear creep in and out from the music as it plays. Queens Of The Stone Age, Led Zeppelin, Big Wreck, Black Keys, anything by Chris Cornell – all of these talented acts come to mind along with the influences we’ve mentioned already. These bands all come to mind with good reason – their impact and influence has certainly inspired a lot of the SOUND of The Future Exes….but….
Like a band with true direction – this two-piece musical-beast of a project never lets those influences own their style or dominate their rhythms; The Future Exes have an incredible writing style that truly is all their own. With their being five songs on this latest EP – the challenge is to keep the listener engaged long enough to have that amazing experience with the music, and to want more again soon after. I cannot tell you just how many times I’ve played this EP over and over. What I CAN tell you – is that each time I do, I’m impressed more and more with how far they were able to take these five songs.
Starting with the throat-ripping delight of “Nowhere To Go” – you almost wouldn’t see the funky and inventive “She Got The Best Of Me” coming as the track to follow; but herein lies the beauty in this short and sweet EP – it has MEAT on it! It instantly confirms their capabilities to write incredibly within all sorts of different rhythms and sounds. These two build your appetite leading up to the track “Recognize” – a song for which they’ve already made an official video for.
So let’s talk about that track. I mean…if they went to all the trouble of making the video to accompany it, well, the least I can do is “single” it out…
“Recognize” is a powerhouse of a track. They’re doing this WONDERFUL thing in the chorus that I just can’t help but obsess over – so I’ll tell you about it… In the chorus, when they actually use the title in the song…the way their harmonies drift out on that actual word find their safety in the most perfected-crafted and subtle Alice In Chains sound…it only serves to trail off the word itself but I can hear it and it sounds AMAZING. Hopefully someone out there knows what I mean by that or this entire paragraph will simply read as cracked-out-journalism!
But perhaps this is what I’ve been trying to say all along. Influences are something that we ALL have, but it’s the way we choose to use them when making our own music that really lets us know how far down the rabbit hole you’ve gone with the liking of a style. The Future Exes did not, at any single point, make me roll my eyes or even remotely feel like I had heard it all. Again, with the start of this EP containing such a contrast within the first two songs – it really does set you up well to expect this band to keep you guessing on what direction they’ll go next.
In my honest opinion – there is damn near literally no argument when it comes to the progression of this EP. What started strong with “Nowhere To Go” nearly seems like a weak and distant memory by the time you reach the final track “Simple Lie” or the completely genius “She Can’t Sleep” that comes before it. But in the interest of transparent journalism – let me be clear in my communication: There is no weak here – only strong to stronger.
Vocally this album ranges from a scream to a whisper, but they shine through on “Simple Lie” like no other track. Crisp, clear and beautiful – this song has such an incredible atmosphere that it pulls you in like a musical black-hole, leaving you in an incredible sonic space where you feel the isolation, despair and frustration against melodic music. An absolute powerhouse of a slow jam and a song that has left me with a lasting impression of feeling like I can’t wait to hear what else comes out from The Future Exes in the years to come.
If you’re looking for something new and inventive using sounds and tones you’re familiar with and love in a completely new and brilliant way – I fully recommend picking this album up. Turn up “She Can’t Sleep” as loud as you possibly can and listen to an absolutely killer track that should make two pieces like The White Stripes wish they could re-record their entire past.
The First Thought EP is inventive, creative and absolutely impressive – consider me looking forward to a musical future that now certainly includes the music of The Future Exes.
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