When life gives you lemons, do as the Stone Roses do: Make a cheeky logo out of it and rock the eff out.
That’s the plan of Cambridge’s Future Carnivores, who have certainly gulped their share of lemonade over the years, only to return this month with a new record called Melt the Sky, a sliced cantaloupe for a logo (a nice alternative to the played-out lemons), and a rollicking space-aged single that recalls the best of Britpop’s long-gone era of golden guitars and glam-infused swagger. The single is titled “Cinnamon Afternoon”, and it’s available to stream below via the trio’s Bandcamp in advance of their October 15 release party at the Lilypad in Inman Square.
The lemons that have flown the band’s way are typical of a group of musicians having a go at it several years into the game. Once a sextet, Future Carnivores now operate as a trio. Founding member Reuben Bettsak, also of Guillermo Sexo, left the band as he relocated his family to Georgia, and since their inception other members experienced a bit of “adulting”; they got married, had careers, went to grad school, had children, and took on all the other things that fall under life’s distracting umbrella. Future Carnivores also once boasted two drummers, and we all know how that shit turns out.
“[Reuben] and I started this band back in the late aughts as just an idea to collaborate after being in each other’s orbits for quite a while,” enduring frontman Bo Barringer tells Vanyaland. “The idea was — you make a beat, I’ll write a melody; you create a guitar part, I’ll write the bass; you write the keyboards, I’ll play percussion. See what happens. We liked the results enough to finish an album. Then we decided to turn it into a full live band. We continued writing and recording in this fashion enough to come up with another album, but soon the live band was really becoming a thing of its own. There was always a real schism between what was on record and what we sounded like in a club. It was time to harness what the rest of the band was able to do with our songs and capture it on ‘tape’. I think we almost nailed it.
Barringer likes the direction the band is heading. While his other project, The Wrong Shapes, allows him to indulge his weirder side of electronic and pop music, Future Carnivores locks into more primal form of rock and roll, with the amps turned up and a fist raised to the sky.
“In a way, I think we’ve streamlined,” he says. A bit ironically, the more ‘adulting’ we endure, the more we regress stylistically back to our ’90s roots… The delicate balance, I think, is to try to let your collective experiences and influences inform and enrich the sound of the band and not just let common denominators override. After nearly six years together, I think we have enough trust in each other’s instincts, and a strong enough internal band bullshit detector, to keep that from happening.”
At the October 15 release show, Future Carnivores and all their trio-ing glory will be joined by the Gala and Soft Pyramids. Hear Soft Pyramids’ new single here, and channel your inner Britpop soul on this “Cinnamon Afternoon”.