Future Islands/ Lonnie Walker's Split 7" | Record Review | Indy Week

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Future Islands/ Lonnie Walker's Split 7"

(Friends Records)

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According to the letters and numbers etched on the inner rings of this 7" that's split between two bands of old college pals, Raleigh's Lonnie Walker takes the B-side, while Baltimore's Future Islands takes the A. Relative to popularity, that's appropriate. Future Islands is the bigger band from the bigger scene, riding a wave of praise off their excellent LP, In Evening Air, released earlier this year by the major indie label Thrill Jockey. For all of its chiseled Southern cosmic energy, however, Lonnie Walker, has yet to become little more than a great local band.

But the narrative's more interesting if we take Lonnie Walker first here. "Love Turn" is a hesitant, then headlong, love song, with frontman Brian Corum hiding from the temptation that "spooned my blues" for bulk of the first two verses. She takes hold in the third verse, though, causing him to forsake his concision for a slipstream of twisted clichés and excited nonsense rhyme, blathered obsessively over a pensive drum trot. "Easy jumping molars/ what a winding rollercoaster/ Throw your bags in the trunk/ What do you want for lunch?" Corum concludes, a grouch finally giving over to the butterflies in his stomach and the grin on his face.

Future Islands' "The Ink Well" wants none of that sappy stuff. "When you awoke, you whispered softly/ What you said wasn't meant for me," frontman Sam Herring moans, a cavernous bass line and synthesizers that hiss like chilly wind making his words that much more menacing. An aesthetic and thematic extension of the heartbreak that threaded through In Evening Air, "The Ink Well" is the disturbed end of a relationship, delivered as a slow soul dirge. These sides form a cycle, then; you'll want to stay in the loop for a while.

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