I’m mostly familiar with Bry Froelich’s music from her time playing guitar with the great Missoula band, Needlecraft. Needlecraft had a succession of guitar players, not unlike Spın̈al Tap drummers (without the death) and Froelich helped give the band’s first full-length album its excellent Shaggs vibe (if the Shaggs were obsessed with tacos). Needlecraft combusted on re-entry roughly four years ago, but I loved, and still love, the way Froelich writes music and plays guitar. Her style makes me think of Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh from Devo. In fact, New Old Future’s “Mrs. Robinson” especially reminded me of one of my favorite Devo tunes, “Come Back Jonee,” with its subtle hook and phrasing.
In addition to Froelich, New Old Future features a strong set of Missoula musicians, with Skurfs’ Gavin McCourt playing lead guitar parts and Rock and Roll Girlfriend’s Brady Berthelson on drums. “An Enemy” and “Mrs. Robinson” highlight the band’s simple staccato guitar style. Froehlich’s vocals echo the notes and McCourt’s epic guitar weaves alongside, tying the songs nicely together. The strength of this release is both in its restraint and the relative compactness of the pieces. New Old Future has carved out a distinct sound for themselves, and that’s not an easy task. I was trying to end this by combining “the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades” with “New Old Future” here, but I’m giving up. You get the idea.