Sightings – Future Accidents album review

In a world that is both chaotic and ordered we usually encounter artists who lean to one extreme or the other, either ignoring form completely or following it with a strict adherence.  With Sightings’ newest release Future Accidents we find a group that crashes and wails along that boundary.   The record sounds like a thunderstorm, with all of the tearing bolts of lightning and omnipresent booms that at first seem random and disorganized.  But as you count the seconds between the flashes and thunder-cracks you begin to hear a rhythm.  A strange and howling order emerges through the noise and suddenly you hear something that you might even be able to dance to.  Might.

Layers of droning and screeching guitars combined with the sometimes-clocklike, more often randomly flailing drum collage builds a tapestry of noise that is strangely meditative, like the sounds that must be erupting in the heads of astronauts as they’re shot through the atmosphere.  After an explosive first three songs, the fourth and final track starts off as if we’ve finally emerged into the zero gravity of space.  For over nineteen minutes we’re suspended there, still surrounded by machines, but now the machines seem to be in a passive state, breathing and maintaining themselves allowing us a chance to relax now that the journey is coming to its end.

The album is certainly jarring.  It’s abrasive and haunting and, to cheat and use an old cliché, it is most definitely not the sort of music that your grandmother listened to.  And that may be the record’s strongest point—Sightings seems to have made music from the future.  It’s grindingly industrial and tribal at once, as if Detroit sprung up in the Amazon.  Someday people will be fighting with arrows and lasers, the past that lives in the Earth will be competing for survival against chrome from the sky, and Future Accidents could be the soundtrack to it all.

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