Future of Illusion by DeafcultRelease date: August 14, 2023
Label: Hobbledehoy Records
This is a dark album. It’s thought provoking and a little bit of a bummer. I love it.
Hailing from sunny Brisbane, Australia this 5 piece have delivered a soundtrack to the current climate which is anything but sunny. This is their second full length and the follow up to 2017’s debut Auras. They grabbed audiences attention with their brand of shoegazey noise pop which oozed ambience and dreamy vibes but times have changed and so has the band.
Where previously they wielded luscious reverb drenched soundscapes and pretty chord progressions, now we get a more focused and driving sound that plays around minor keys far more, builds huge walls of noise with fuzzes and distortion, dissonant guitars, yells and layered vocals more concerned with the urgency of their message than settling into the atmosphere. Of note, the band have added Kelly Lloyd (Screemfeeder) on bass and vocals and her presence is commanding. The dual vocals compliment the sound so well and unlike other artists in this style, the voices are just as important to what’s happening as the swirling guitars or crashing drums.
So the shoegaze elements are still there and any fan of that sound will identify with ‘Future of Illusion’ immediately but to other listeners it might sound more post-punk or noise rock. Both are right. The band just found their teeth and they are showing. Throughout the album Deafcult explore themes of environmental disruption, the damage caused and our own disconnection from it. Whichever corner of the world you reside in, this is a universal dilemma we are all facing, not just here in Australia where it burns, floods, droughts and generally tries to rid itself of us. Pay attention to the spoken word passages, read the lyrics and reflect on the impression it leaves.
It’s been a while since an album grabbed my attention like this and offered so much more beneath the gorgeously bleak music and hooky melodies. It’s entirely fitting that the doom and post-rock moments are more prominent here than on the debut. Future of Illusion carries a defiant protest energy all the way through and never lets up the warning sirens. This is music for right now. I’m beyond impressed.