Future Punx

Agent: Jordan Corso
Territory: North America / Asia
Label: Anniversary Records

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In the future, when the year 2020 is up for historical reexamination, we will, as we so often do in times of struggle, try to make sense of it through the lense of culture. Just as CCR scores footage of helicopters above the jungle in Vietnam and Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ underscores the indifferent decadence of the 1980’s, so too will we attempt to bridge the gap between what we experienced and what we heard. I hope that one good thing that comes out of this dreadful year is the world finally learning what New York City has long known: that Future Punx are one of the most exciting bands around, and since they’ve decided to name their second full-length album 2020, they deserve to be recognized as a defining group of this strange moment in time. 

Could the band have known when they recorded 2020 all that would unfold that year? Just as Talking Heads couldn’t have understood the power of the year 1977, no.  But that hardly matters. “I don’t understand what’s going on in the world but I feel something big is going to happen,” sings Jake Pepper in ‘Intent’, in a song that contemplates “certain doom” in an “empty room”, making for bracing quarantine listening. It won't really matter what the songs on 2020 are about, at least not as much as it will matter what 2020 the year itself was about. On 2020 the album, songs about Bushwick, Brooklyn and white-collar crime live alongside love songs and lyrics that address female empowerment. Just like the year itself, it has moments of raw beauty and joy that punctuate feelings of foreboding dread and unease. The serpentine guitar line on the chorus of ‘Be Deep’ is the kind of earworm that will forever be embedded in my brain, and like all truly great guitar riffs, will remind me of the person I was when I first heard it. When I listen to album opener ‘Body Rock’, I’m transported to the sweaty, crowded rooms where I’ve watched this band steal the show countless times. 

For the unacquainted, Future Punx have been a constant presence in New York City’s DIY scene for nearly a decade now. Under normal conditions, the band plays live and rehearses near constantly, as well as hosting dance parties and DJ sets. There are few young Brooklyn bands who haven’t had a show booked by bassist Chris Pickering. Vocalist and keyboardist Heather Strange also operates the group’s light show. Guitarist Jake Pepper has worked at several local record labels. You understand what I’m getting at; Future Punx are the real thing.  A true DIY band in a time when that label becomes increasingly blurred. When listening to 2020, my mind wanders to other scenes that emerged out of turbulent times, such as the late 80’s Acid House and Manchester scenes, set against a backdrop of AIDS, sectarian bombing and mining strikes. A turbulent period when people turned to psychedelic escapism to forget their troubles. On 2020, Future Punx never quite escape the trappings of the year their album is named after. Instead, it's confronted in ways they could never have anticipated. For that reason, 2020 is a collection of songs that will not only get us through this, but will someday help us understand exactly what we got through and why.