Even before I listened to Chicago band The M's sophomore record, Future Women (their Polyvinyl debut), the "next IT band" hype surrounding them gave me the all-too-familiar feeling of cramming for a final. I had to pull out my highlighter to be sure I would not miss anything of importance.
The album starts off solidly, not unlike a few bands you've heard before (think Ray Davies and Marc Bolan together babysitting "School of Rock"). But then Future Women loses me for a bit. The M's could have gone with a minimal approach, accenting the finest pieces of their songs; instead, they add too much in places. On the other hand, it was the xylophone of "Going Over It" that shocked me out of the semi-daydream state I was in and kept me alert for what was to come.
"My Gun," "Future Women" and "Never Do This Again" are clearly the high points of the album, with their melodies, guitars and percussion just pleading you to tap and sing along, even if in a lot of songs the vocals are indecipherable. "Darling Lucia" is a strong closer. The M's do hit some heights, approaching the credibility of such newer indie bands as The Shins and My Morning Jacket.
So while they never reach their full potential -- this doesn't qualify as a break-through work -- Future Women is worth the listen. Take note and don't merely read the Cliffs Notes when The M's come back with their next album. They could be around awhile.