Suuns Images du Futur

SuunsImages du Futur
The darkly retro-futuristic resonance of Montreal's Suuns doesn't exactly sound like the music of your nightmares, though it could certainly complement your more unsettling dreams. The group's sophomore release, Images du Futur, brings to mind the kind of dreams from which you might not wake up not gasping for breath, but are saturated in an unpleasantly cold sweat, more disturbed than frightened — in a good way. An unnerving sensation of mechanical tension is immediately evident on album opener "Powers of Ten," on which singer Ben Shemie sings through gritted teeth, as if frustratingly unable to let his voice escape. Images picks up on the retro-futurist theme of the Suuns' 2010 debut, Zeroes QC, but ditches most of the distorted guitars and chaotic, high-pitched electronics of its predecessor, in favour of more convulsively resonant bass lines and a darker, more efficient sound. The descending guitar riff on "2020," which is constantly teetering on the verge of falling apart, is skilfully contrasted by a strictly regimented backdrop of bass and drums. Suuns seamlessly shift from dark disco on tracks like "Minor Work" to the subtle psychedelia of leadoff single "Edie's Dream." Images maintains an aura of continually mounting tension that keeps you anxiously captivated throughout its ten nervously haunting tracks. It's as if Suuns' vision of the future is an uncertain one, often threatening some kind of cybernetic apocalypse but, thankfully, never quite arriving there. (Secretly Canadian)