Future Loves Past - All the Luscious Plants
Record Label: Common Wall Media
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Not that this should directly correlate with the music of All the Luscious Plants, or the talent this record contains...but I just can't help wishing this had been released a couple of months earlier. With each bouncy guitar riff or bass-line, smooth vocals spitting tongue-in-cheek lyrics, your mind is bombarded with images of summer and feelings of staying out late, discovering 'love' and drinking the night away. With it now being September, Future Loves Past isn't too late, and as I said before, it shouldn't affect anyone's opinion of the album- especially being a debut of this caliber.
Hearing an opener like "Pretty Things", it's easy to get a feeling for where things are headed. Each beautiful melody is reminiscent of Minus The Bear, or sometimes even Phoenix, creating danceable indie music with enough lyrical conviction and pop tendency to be an album you are proud to introduce your friends to. This is most abundantly clear in the album's first half, with "Pretty Things" and "Grow Up Tall" reaching a level usually reserved for bands with much more under their belt. The former bounces and bursts along with the line, "All the pretty things around you/Can only take you so far away", while "Grow Up Tall" is clearly a perfect choice as a single, with Eric Palmer crooning "If it grows up tall/If it grows at all/Then there it will be to suffer spring, winter, summer, fall" over Tristan DeDe's Minus The Bear-esque guitar work, which really steals the show later throughout "Mean Love". All the Luscious Plants is even wise in its production choices, never leaving an instrument behind and giving each one a chance to see the spotlight or play evenly alongside the others. "I live in a dream, I'm just a young one/That doesn't mean it's not love for a little while" is Palmer at his best, setting Future Loves Past apart from many other artists at the same point in their career.
Right around the halfway point of the album is where things start to find themselves off-kilter. "Seekers"' simple chorus of "Day, night" sang in a very Good Old War-esque melody can start to be obnoxious, and "Pidgeons" falls victim to some awkward "oooh's" and lyrical flaws ("We're just bitter 'cause we can't fly/We can try, but there's no guarantees"). This is the record's only downfall- All the Luscious Plants is a collection of great ideas, where some are just executed more finely than others. The songs begin to run together, but that doesn't take away from each excellent harmony ("Lupa") or idea the band has to offer. In fact, how cohesive the album is itself is enough to applaud a band that is, again, so young wing so much promise. Things manage to pick right back up with the funky, almost spooky style flaunted confidently on "I'm Free" and the aggressive guitars that weave in and out of Sean Wintrow's bass-playing. Of course, all of this is secondary when compared to the album's highest point, "And I Do", seamlessly blended together by keyboards (courtesy of Sarah Hibner) and Enrique Naranjo's work behind the kit, which when tied together with Palmer's excellent songwriting create a song that should easily convince you of the things Future Loves Past is capable of.
Spring, winter, summer or fall, All the Luscious Plants evokes enough imagery throughout each atmospheric pop nugget to elevate the band to a higher level of musical ability. This is usually where I would tell you how it should be exciting to see where a band may go next, and in this case, I'd be surprised if Future Loves Past didn't find their niche in summer parties and late night car rides come next year. One thing is sure, and that's who and what I'll be proudly showing off to my fellow music-junkies as the year begins to reach an end.