Future Islands, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Wumme | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Future Islands, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Wumme Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., Feb. 19, 10 p.m. 2011

Before they released In Evening Air (Thrill Jockey) last year, Baltimore trio Future Islands seemed like they'd always be one of those bands that excels onstage but not on record. Live, they pump out energetic New Order-style post-new wave, heavy on the bass and synths, while engrossing front man Samuel Herring—who commits his body totally to the music, as if his bandmates' notes were actually physically striking him, and might leap at any moment from a soulful melody to a gnarly, frazzled croon—directs audience-wide dance frenzies. But that vigor didn't quite come across on some of the band's earlier recordings—their 2008 album, Wave Like Home (Upset the Rhythm), suffers from rinky-dink, underpowered production that's downright distracting. In Evening Air sounds like Future Islands were able to breathe easy in the studio, though, and take the time to get everything right—the album's strong mix shows off their knack for exuberant floor-filling jams as well as mellow synth-pop. It's great to finally be able to hear some of the band's great onstage punch even when they're between tours. —Leor Galil

Price: $8

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