I love Seattle punk band Bad Future because they sound just a little bit like if Gang Green and The Gits had a baby. I mean, it's a much more serious baby—one that doesn't sing silly songs about drinking Budweiser like Gangrene does, but who, nevertheless, still manages to be a lovable maniac. Their new four-song album, Nightchurch, opens with "Ritual II," which barrels forward on slappy drums, minor key riffs and lyrics about the rising sun being "too close for me." It's delightfully gothy without being too precious or somber. "In the Wings" has a more triumphant tone as the chorus erupts into gang vocals. "White Mutt" is a whirlwind of furious guitar, wildly chasing its own tail until about three-quarters of the way through when it slips into a contemplative recess. But not for long! The last half-minute builds back up into a thrilling gallop. And, finally, the title track has just an ounce of the sneer and sizzle of a Murder City Devils' song.
If you like MCD or the Wipers or 1990s East Bay punk, you'll like this. This is music served on a dirty, bent platter under a foggy winter moon. No poppy "whoa-ohs" or squeaky clean solos. It's cold and angry and beautiful. Bad Future are my favorite band of the present moment.
Bad Future plays Total Fest at the ZACC Thu., Aug. 20, with other bands. $15 for the night, $60 for three-day festival pass. Visit totalfest.org for full schedule.