Suuns

Images du Futur

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Montreal art rockers Suuns' 2010 debut Zeroes CQ was a little lost in a sea of influences, but broke up messy Deerhoof-meets-Clinic jams with refreshing open-aired moments. Sophomore follow-up Images du Futur is an entirely more cohesive synthesis of the heavy and the spare, with the band creating both space and dramatic tension within even their most driving songs. Tracks like "2020" draw on various styles and elements without becoming cluttered, even when a wobbly, near-dubstep electronic bass pulse is the backdrop for guitar lines that shift between skronky no wave slides and shimmering, ghostly tremolo. Singer Ben Shemie's soft and stumbling vocals are a perfect blend of Thom Yorke and Clinic's Ade Blackburn, sitting menacingly beneath the music on most songs. The bristling uneasiness of Radiohead circa In Rainbows becomes a template for "Minor Work," a pastiche of dour psychedelic vocals and grim melodic shifts over ping-ponging electronic bass. Elsewhere, the haunting "Edie's Dream" blends that experimental rock unwellness with the dream-like insular quality of Deerhunter's more sick-in-bed moments. While not exactly colorful, the constant stream of different sounds gives Images du Futur its own variance and dark brilliance. By the album's final quarter, we're left with increasingly synth-heavy moments, as on the Neu!-inspired, sprawling ending of "Holocene City" or the synth-only drone of the title track. Somehow managing to sound minimal and controlled even when claustrophobically arranged with ever-shifting sounds, Images du Futur improves on Suuns debut and goes even deeper into the dark sounds they've been developing and perfecting as they go.

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