English indie rock band Nothing But Thieves have put out their latest single, the genre-blending ‘Futureproof’.
“‘Futureproof’ is about self-preservation;” the band explain in a statement. “What that means to different people and the lengths that those people would go to achieve it. It’s designed to be a guitar rock and hip-hop hybrid. That can be a bit of an eye-roller and it’s easy to get wrong, but there’s a parallel between some of our heavier songs and the more aggressive side of hip hop, which we wanted to try and get at.”
They’re right that mixing the two genres can be eye-rolling and easily dismissible. I’m not entirely convinced that ‘Futureproof’ transcends the trappings of experimentation. In trying to get the best of rock and hip-hop, the band settle on… industrial music? ‘Futureproof’ sounds like a weird mid-2000s Marilyn Manson deep cut, but with actual singing and not just creepy vocal tics.
“It’s dark and chromatic and then it’s mixed like a hip-hop track with loud drums and vocals,” the band continue. “The idea was to try and explore that territory in the most authentic and fresh way.”
Points for trying, most definitely. A for effort. C for execution though. ‘Futureproof’ gets its aggressive kicks in early, but by the time it fades back into the ether you start to miss Nothing But Thieves’ more electronic indie leanings. It’s a bold experiment, and the riffs crunch with a satisfying bite, but it all feels a little lost and nebulous like there was a general idea that the band wanted to explore but couldn’t quite get past the initial thought of “hey, wouldn’t it be cool to mix these things together?”
‘Futureproof’ just doesn’t have the hooks to really stick in your brain or much reason to exist outside of the band trying to expand their musical horizons. It’s a darker, grungier turn from the band, one that should be often interest to true believers, but for the rest of us it’s just a middling tune from a band who normally are able to go above and beyond.
Check out the video for ‘Futureproof’ down below.