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Standout Track: No. 2, “71705,” a New Wave–y number with spectral synths and a staccato drum-machine pattern. The chorus—“There isn’t a future/If you look in your mind”—recalls both George Orwell’s 1984 and New Order circa that same year.
Musical Motivation: When original drummer Clark Stacy left last year to join the military, the Arlington-based band opted to go on without a human replacement. “We grew up with him, so it was really hard to think about finding a stranger to fill in with us,” says guitarist Jake Reid, 27. “But we also enjoyed the idea of experimenting more with electronic music, and the drum machine is a big part of that.”
Thus “71705” strives for an almost robotic precision—despite the fact that Reid’s lyrics display a healthy distrust of technological progress. “Even with everyone connected via their cell phones or online profiles, people seem more lonely and isolated than ever,” he says. “The online personality outweighs the real personality.”
Battlefield MIrth: The song’s dystopian outlook stems from a discussion about Scientology the band had after practice one day. Reid was particularly intrigued by the concept of auditing (aka the “free stress test”). “I imagined these guys in white robes coming to brainwash your mind, like the plot of a science-fiction film,” he explains. “I don’t really know too much about Scientologists, but it does seem like they have an interest in generally controlling people, even though you’ll hear people like Tom Cruise rail against the use of prescription antidepressants.
“If I remember correctly,” he adds, “the conversation was fueled by a lot of alcohol.” —Nick Green