Gold Standard Laboratories
Had the band stuck to the kind of troubles the song "Monday" confronts, they might've penned a lyrically haunting record. It starts well enough, a tirade against the repetitive machine of capitalistic hunger and redundant reproduction, but it fizzles out at the end, a poetic cry on a song that doesn't need poetry to make it relevant. All in all, that's the problem this band has; they try far too hard to make a point that could be made more subtly, convincingly, and artistically if it weren't trying so hard to be an essay by George Lakoff or Howard Zinn. The band must not know their material as well as they think they do, the above song offering contradictory and confusing anecdotes on living the life of an ant and eventually killing the point they set out to make. "Where for art thou?" is no way to end a song like this.
I'm not disagreeing with everything the band has to say, but I scrunch my nose up at the way they're going about it. "Vehicular Baptism" sounds as though it might take a nice stab at American dependence on vehicles and fuel, but it reshapes itself into a nonsense piece of anti-something screaming about China, Iraq, missles, and God knows what else. Every song keeps this lack of rigor the standard, slowly eroding whatever it was about the band that endeared me at first.
Perhaps the thrashy, malevolent guitars are attractive at first, but over time they wear thin. It's nothing I haven't heard before: a harder punk tempered by the steel of some harder metal. There's nothing particularly exciting about any of it. This is a band composed of the traditional rock foursome: a guitar, a bass, a drum kit, and front man that stands in front of everyone and sings. Not that such a group couldn't write something exciting, but Year Future certainly didn't. The cover of Dead Can Dance's "Black Sun" is actually pretty nice. It's the only point on the album where the band doesn't sound like it is struggling to maintain a facade of hardcore, political, punk nonsense.