The Future Now
The Future Now’s slash and burn alt-rock doesn’t sound much like their Gainesville brethren. The common ground they share is an uncompromising DIY work ethic, the same spirit that powers institutions like No Idea Records and the Fest, Gainesville’s premiere underground punk festival. Just as the band’s neighbors in Against Me! did in the early days, the Future Now records its music independently and releases records on a local label run by friends. The whole project evokes the moment when grunge was still a hungry hybrid of punk and metal, newly unleashed on the masses. vitaminwater caught up with the band at the Atlantic, a long-running Main Street staple.
True, the Nevermind baby is now old enough to vote. But in the hands of the Future Now, Nirvana’s approach to songwriting is still as fresh as it was when Kurt and company made their first splash. The Future Now revels in a sound that was synonymous with the Pacific Northwest, the wedding of gritty guitar attacks and traditional pop structures. At times, vocalist Bobby Heilman channels the deep croon of Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan, while the upbeat energy propelling songs like “Ghost Cousins” recalls Tacoma’s grunge-punk pioneers Seaweed.
Although the Future Now isn’t mining the same territory as fellow 90s enthusiasts the Pains of Being Pure At Heart, both groups temper thick, distorted guitars with a love for catchy, chorus-driven songs. The Future Now straddles Pains’ poppier leanings and the aggressive assault of Young Widows, a band that hovers around the damaged end of the ‘90s-worship spectrum. In their unflinching performances and on their debut long-player Hazy Orange Sunday, the Future Now reminds us what made the grunge explosion so damn fun in the first place.
Salmon Nason, Timothy McCallum, Bobby Heilman
Sound Study Recordings