ALBUM REVIEW: Nutopians - What Does The Future Sound Like?

NUTOPIANS ... What Does The Future Sound Like?
NUTOPIANS ... What Does The Future Sound Like?

This is the debut album from Sunderland father-and-son duo Ian and Phil Jackson, who have been playing together as Nutopians for more than four years.

Ian is the guitarist in punk covers band 1977, but this shows off his musical talents in a very different light.



It’s mature, finely-crafted alt-rock, with the pair writing all the songs and playing all the instruments themselves.

With a crisp, clean production by Fred Purser (Penetration, Tygers of Pan Tang), it sounds superb.

Its 10 tracks deserve a much wider audience than the Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham pubs where they usually ply their trade.

They have two EPs to their name, and the only cut from the first included here is the marvellously uplifting The Journey – one of their strongest songs.

Three of the four tracks from last year’s follow-up also make it muster, and good as they were, they sound far better in the context of a full album.

The album kicks into action with the excellent Afterlife, which has a piercing riff obviously influenced by late Skids/Big Country guitarist Stuart Adamson.

The slower Elysium features dreamy vocals, but is powered by a muscular rhythym section, while Dark Star is a ballad which sounds like Ash at their best.

Out Of Touch is another infectious upbeat number, and it’s followed by the equally-strong Time, the lead song on last year’s EP.

Anthemic indie-rock is the best way to sum them up, but for all their influences, Nutopians don’t sound like anyone else. 8/10.

Gary Welford

• Nutopians play the Big Jug in Durham tomorrow, and there’s a full-band album launch gig at Josephs in Sunderland on February 26.

• Out now at Hot Rats and Pop Recs in Sunderland, online from,, and