By Jessica Deeken | July 7th, 2011
The Future Will Destroy You is the sixth full-length from Portland-via-Alabama couple Kevin and Anita Robinson. According to Vanguard, the duo wrote, performed, produced, and mixed the entire thing. Tough to describe, this is a continued departure from their early sound; to say they’re psych-rock or psych-folk is a stretch in any one direction. On album after album, the couple’s palpable collaboration has expanded their terrain, bleeding genres. This is a tamer version of Viva Voce, but it works, with always-impeccable changes and vigorous instrumentation.
The band’s appeal to me has always been wall-of-sound guitar paired with Anita’s smoky vocals, taking on explosive distortion or a sudden crash of aggressive cymbals. She leads on vocals and guitar throughout The Future Will Destroy You, at times light on loud, wall-scape sound. Still, there’s something sinister to relish about these gently crooned songs of destruction.
“Plästic Rädio” sets the mood, pacing out a moog melody with tinny percussion before a big guitar hook takes the song into full drive. As always, the lyrics enhance the music — no heavy-handed preaching. A few songs like “No Ship Coming In” take a slow turn to hazy, distorted jangle. These crisp up around simple themes (“Who’s gonna save you now?”) and bucolic ballads; dreamy enough, but pared too far back to recommend. “Black Mood Ring” makes more of a statement: “What you’ve said, I’ve heard it before; I won’t be back for more this time,” with a grave, bluesy bass line clinching the sentiment.
In an interview, she says, “I listened to a great classic rock station growing up, and it helped shape my tastes without a doubt. It’s still there, the first thing I do when I visit family in Alabama is dial it in on the ride from the airport.” Yeah Robinsons, for your fans, keep it turned up!