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Pax Futura

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Album Review

Despite the forward-looking title, Pax Futura is an old-fashioned song cycle, and the use of that phrase is a deliberate echo of Van Dyke Parks' 1968 debut album. Pax Futura doesn't sound a bit like Song Cycle, of course (what does?), but like Parks' record, this is an impressionistic suite comprised of songs that look at the city of Los Angeles (the formerly Texas-based band's adopted hometown) seen through the eyes of outsiders. Specifically, outsiders armed with a battery of excellent vintage keyboards, a grab bag of cool production tricks and a fearlessness about bleeding seemingly disparate musical styles together, so that the danceable Stereolab goes Latin-percussion-and-synth groove of "Signing Off" bangs up appealingly against the Edwyn Collins-like white boy soul of "Stranger Than the Stranger," with its mellow verses leading to a tightly wound, jittery chorus, and then both are trumped by the nervy new wave rock of "What Heart?" There's not a duff track here, and the endless invention and subtle detail on display keeps Pax Futura listenable across multiple hearings. This is a band to keep an eye on.

Customer Reviews

top 10 album of 2007

finally an album for the aesthete and the cheeky bugger. i use the word ALBUM because this is a cohesive masterpiece that is best enjoyed in its entirety (a rarity these days and an obvious nod to their influences), not simply as a collection of singles to be mixed together on your playlist for the next house party (although doing so is inevitable, as one who always falls short of his ideals is now telling you). for those who crave description via reference/comparison, while always an inexact science, here is the best i can offer: modest mouse + david bowie + beatles' 2nd half of abbey road + a sprinkle of early radiohead + a spoonful of later radiohead. also, there are no studio "tricks" at work in the sense that some reviewers, while still praising the album, have used the term. anyone who has seen these boys absolutely mutilate their instruments on-stage knows that at heart (what heart?) these boys are a live band. and that there is nary a sound on pax futura that cannot be replicated live. these boys are just that good. and lastly, if oliver is listening, "the slow fast" is just ridiculously good, coming out of nowhere to end the album what an emphatic "F**k you! And thanks for listening!"

The Real Deal

Unique, intelligent, and insanely put together. This album is awesome and will have you bobbing your head to every song. Feels like a living entity that engulfs you and takes you through its story. You get to escape everytime you press play and experience something new each time with Pax Futura.

Great start to finish

Simply fantastic start to finish - gets better each time you listen to it.

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Austin, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Forging an eclectic, spacy, ever-so-slightly funky sound that nodded to indie acts like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Flaming Lips, and Tapes 'n Tapes, Austin, TX's Oliver Future formed in 2005 with the Lit brothers Noah and Josh, Jordan Richardson, Sam Raver, and Jesse Ingalls. The group independently released its debut long-player, The Bear Chronicles, that year, and over the course of the next two years went on to move to L.A., open for bands like Coldplay and Arcade Fire, and generate enough...
Full Bio
Pax Futura, Oliver Future
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