Music To Eat Lunch To – The Strays; Le Futur Noir

Label: TVT
Released: September 2006
Tracks: 14
Rating: 8

Great album! Le Futur Noir has a really pleasing sound, not a million miles away from Nirvana or Rise Against with its brand of mellow hardcore. A Greek, a Brit and an American, who now all now reside in California, populate the band. The bunch is very pleased with their first album. This first album is a great start.

They are self-described as a “DIY punk band” and consider themselves a lot more rooted in bands like the Clash, than many of the other claimants. The Strays spent their time touring the States and hoping to get by on club-provided meals after gigs before their sound took off and they were given the opportunity to record this album. The band’s foundational grit and hardship really comes across in their music, not to mention the intelligence that generally comes with an international group of friends and/or musicians. The music is politically tainted in a way every mildly punk band needs to be, yet the actual sound of the songs comes off with a more metal twist, punctuated by grunge.

You can also hear a great deal of Nirvana on the album, in terms of the somewhat stretched and tortured guitar riffs that grace many of the 14 tracks. They could also be likened to mellower bands like Oasis, but as I’ve said, Rise Against is also in there and kicking hard. To be honest, I wouldn’t immediately classify this as punk, but that wouldn’t stop me from putting the album on again.

My only hang-up is that, given the band’s own rhetoric, they really don’t sound like they dug the Clash or the Sex Pistols or anything like that — not very much, anyway. But then again, maybe that’s just the three nationalities clashing somewhat and giving the album a threefold sound instead of the basic punk one we would expect from a DIY punk band. The songs are really enjoyable, and make use of a great beat and rhythm that is very easy to get into. It’s melodic, lyrically strong and best of all, political and pointed — everything a great band needs to stay afloat, I should think.

All in all, Le Futur Noir is a very strong first album, so if this is the first attempt, I’m looking forward to the future releases.