Sound Advice: Futurebirds with Harpooner and Wilder

Wednesday • Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary)

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click to enlarge Futurebirds
Futurebirds

Futurebirds are the first to admit that their six members offer up an array of influences — from ’80s Pop to Country of every stripe to Psych-infused Indie Rock — that coalesce around one common thread: Athens, Ga. and its rich musical heritage.

The band’s freshly minted third record, Hotel Parties, is a diverse, twang-infested excursion featuring 11 songs that range from wistful to ragged. Album opener “Paranoia Letters” could be mistaken for a long-lost gem from Wilco’s Summerteeth, buoyed by gloriously intertwining guitars and the soaring, high-pitched vocals of frontman Carter King.

The very next song, “Twentyseven,” is another catchy, textured keeper, as mandolin, pedal-steel guitar, a jaunty rhythm section and Carter’s thoughts about turning the title’s age leave a fizzy aftertaste. The jangly “Deadbeat Hits” is straight out of the Elephant 6 playbook, evoking Apples in Stereo doing an Olivia Tremor Control cover.

“Hard As You Like” closes the record with nearly five minutes of bluesy laments that come on like a storm cloud. It’s a rare downer from a band becoming tighter and more confident with every release.

“That comes ultimately from the fact when we went in to record that record, we’ve been playing together so much as a unit,” King recently told Online Athens of the band’s sonic solidarity. “When we made the records before we hadn’t had the extensive touring history that we did when we recorded (2013’s) Baba Yaga. … It was recorded between tours and when we had time off and it came very much from the core of us playing together, working as a band.”

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