Dystopian Future Movies – Time
The debut album from Nottingham duo Dystopian Future Movies has been long-awaited by those in the know about their expansively atmospheric and experimentally approached post-rock. With the release of Time they’ve risen to meet those high expectations, bringing together a relentless and pounding set full of huge guitars and close-quarter rhythmic intricacies anchored around haunting vocals.
Opening with the sparse Wasteland the scene is set for an edgy listen, a sense of paranoia in the picked guitar lines measured by the resolve and determination in the vocal. It’s the quiet before the storm as from here on in tracks grow into brooding beasts, stalking you between the shadows and light of doom-laden yet illuminating melodies.
Pieces brings in a disconcerting feel, the vocals layering across tripping beats. The melody and rhythm pass and switch with each other for the attention, a fade and echo approach while melancholy creeps into the vocal, lower in the mix here but enticing a closer listen rather than a frustrated one. The album’s mid-point, Inertia, makes more of voice, driven by the vocal melody and volleys of rhythm for the early part once again crashing over you in huge waves of guitar there are some almost playful bass lines lurking in the deep.
On Dissonant Agressors it’s the sharp tribal beats which become more definite as the vocal floats ethereal, drifting across the ambience and grind of the growing melody. Building to a repeating refrain of ‘there’s time, there’s time, there’s time’ the line is consumed as the track crescendos into percussive pounding and gnawing guitar. While this slow-build and devastation are used across the album but they are far from a one-trick band, the feel may be consistent but the tracks each stand alone just as well as in the collection – there’s no filler here.
Describing themselves as sitting in the ‘dark place between Neurosis and Chelsea Wolfe’ there are certainly elements of post- and math-rock in the mix here, along with occasional flurries of post-metal and even melodic but heavy grindcore. There’s Russian Circles, My Bloody Valentine, 18th Dye, The Winter Passing all seeping through the sound but even when it’s brutally, relentlessly heavy it is never less than beautifully and hauntingly melodic.
Between the experimental guitar lines and bright yet soft vocal of Caroline Cawley, and the complex yet restrained drumming from Bill Fisher the pair are making a sound much bigger than their number should allow, and certainly more fully realised than many bands achieve with a debut. Time is a fine opening statement from Dystopian Future Movies – one which should further excite those who’ve already discovered them and piquing the interest of those new to their sound.
Words: Sarah Lay