Year Future – Hidden Hand EP

Year Future
Hidden Hand EP

When I was in high school, Angel Hair was my favorite hardcore band. I had a tape that had its self-titled Gravity Records 7″ back-to-back with another Gravity band called Second Story Window’s full-length. I cannot stress how important this one tape was in my meager life. I listened to it over and over and over, learning the words and guitar chords studiously. I had always been into hardcore bands, mostly Minor Threat and Black Flag, but this was different.

I distinctly recall the first time I ever heard Angel Hair. One of my good friends had that 7″ and played it so loudly for me that I got a splitting headache. I went home thinking that it was one of the worst records that I had ever heard. My opinion changed quickly when I found myself still thinking about the guitar parts and how catchy everything was but how noisy and abrasive it seemed at the same time. I did everything in my power to track down a copy of that 7.” I’m not sure if you would be aware, but in Knoxville, Tennessee there weren’t any record stores that carried this kind of stuff back then. I didn’t have a computer, and if I did it wouldn’t have mattered because in 1995 Gravity Records certainly did not have a website. I think Angel Hair would have to be the one band that I would give my left leg to have seen play during its short existence. Unfortunately, Angel Hair broke up before I ever got that chance. I did fall equally in love with Angel Hair frontman Sonny Kay’s other band, The VSS, as well. I never got to see the band play either, but such is life, right?

Several years down the line now, Sonny is heading up GSL records and fronting another band called Year Future. I wish with all my heart that I could tell you how amazing this record is and that Sonny still has that sort of power over me. Year Future is not what I was hoping for, and it isn’t that it is all bad or anything but only slightly disappointing. The band’s two EPs that I own show little to no improvement from the first to the second. Take a steady shot of Dead Kennedys surf style guitar and mix in the reverb heavy undertones of Joy Division and you’ve got the Year Future guitar sound. It would seem from this discription that it would be pretty good right? Wrong.

Sonny’s vocals recall a mixture of both The VSS and Angel Hair, and while that would normally be a good thing, here it sounds totally out of context. The three songs on Hidden Hand are all nice musically and vocally, but put these two aspects together and it just doesn’t jell. Maybe by the time Year Future’s full-length, scheduled to drop in 2005, comes out, there will be enough progression to ease my pain. I think for now I’ll throw on my Angel Hair 7″ and reflect on the past a little more.