Class of 86 - Future On Fire (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Class of 86

Future On Fire (2014)


Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota Class of 86 put out their second release Future On Fire on Paper+Plastick in 2014. Class of 86 describes themselves as a “melodic punk/thrash band” and that’s right, but there is so much more to this band that is on this epic album, which unfortunately did not get wider-spread appreciation and notoriety that it deserved back when it was first officially put out.

Class of 86 does not shy away from incorporating their influences from different subgenres into their music. In fact for the most part the tracks on Future On Fire consists of a fusion of thrash-punk with metal-influenced instrumentation. It is pretty awesome what a band can do when they decide to step out of the “normal” punk line up and add a third guitarist. It adds room for more experimentation, which you can hear in the song “Phase Change.” This track has a lot of crunchy palm-muting and metal influence in the guitars that accompanied by really fast and high-note fills and a bass line full of treble so you can really get the sense of the contrast between the instruments. You can actually see the music video for it right here on!

And while “Phase Change” shows us the more metal side of Class of 86, the song “Veni Vidi Vino (I Came, I Saw, I Drank),” one of stand out songs on Future On Fire, shows us what the band can do with their more punk rock side. Sure the guitar intro is this insane metal-esque riff, but the song transforms in to this anthemic thrash-punk song that is incredibly fast and then suddenly slows down just when you think the tension can build up further. It’s kind of like the band is you faking out. And notably, during these unexpected slow-downs the drums turn into this ominous rumble that just adds more to the tension. There is also this the absolutely killer instrumental bridge about two-thirds of the way through the track that has shrieking guitar fills and pull offs and blasting drums. This track just hits you like a tidal wave.

When it comes to the vocals, Class of 86 definitely doesn’t go for the softer Masked Intruder sort of singing. It’s quite the opposite actually, but it still remains melodic. The lead singer’s voice is on the raspier side and it really works well with the band’s overall sound through out the entire album. It falls somewhere around Nuno of A Wilhelm Scream and Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music. During the track “mickeymousebullshit” the band truly shows just how complex their vocals can get. The lead singer really pushes his vocal range in this song by hitting that sweet spot where he is yelling, but still keeping it melodic. You also get hit with this wall of powerful and angry backing vocals in this song and in the majority of the album as well.

Punk rockers and metal heads rejoice! Future On Fire is a hidden gem from 2014 that we can all agree is an amazing record. If you are into bands like A Wilhelm Scream especially, you should definitely give this record your attention.