And so concludes a very interesting approach to releasing an album, one that, I believe has serious merit to it. Released in four instalments throughout the year as a quadrilogy of EP’s In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind (Failure Music/Pledge), Californian alternative rockers Failure has come up with a way to appeal to the immediacy of today’s playlist culture while also getting material to their fans as soon as it is ready, with no long lead-ins, no convoluted or extended marketing campaigns, just “here’s some new material” at regular intervals throughout the year.
I’m now long past any lingering cynicism at bands reforming, particularly those that aren’t trying to recreate glories long past, as, in the main, the added experiences of life seem to bring renewed and wider perspectives and different nuances and colours to a band’s sound. What Failure have done since their resurrection in 2014, is add a depth, class, and presence to their previous position… a sanding down of the edges and a polishing of the hulk, but in a way that makes it feel like a restoration and enhancement rather than a loss, or damaging of, the original, natural state.
While never particularly part of Grunge in terms of sound, despite originally finding their feet in the early nineties, nonetheless, a soft, reflective alt-rock element that was ingrained in bands born at that time is still present throughout Failure’s core – an absence of excess and a focus on honest, sparse musicality that still allows for diversity; ‘Solar Eyes’ has a Desert Rock chunter, ‘Distorted Fields’ is fuzzy bass swagger, ‘Heavy and Blind’ is melancholic Space Rock, while ‘What Makes It Easy’ is a jangling, dark, psychedelic lament.
Despite its broken and staggered construction and release schedule, In The Future… holds a consistency and a coherency as an album. From the funky, minimalist head-nod of ‘Dark Speed’, a slinky opening to an interesting and quirky proposition that first appeared in March 2018, to the highlight of the collection and closing statement ‘The Pineal Electorate’, an efficacious moment that could have been lifted from The Wall (Columbia), Failure don’t scrimp on quality; the constant creative reinvigoration of focusing on a handful of songs at a time, and linking them with spacey segues as an ode to their past, proving a boon, a constant motivator and, ultimately, a success.