TO ACCURATELY review Future Islands, one has to begin with frontman Samuel T Herring’s physical performance.

This isn’t because it supersedes the impact of his warm growling voice – far from it. It’s because his onstage appearance adds so much depth to an already first-rate setlist.

Herring stares out at the crowds packed into Boscombe’s O2 Academy with slightly unnerving intensity. He beats his own chest. He takes dance steps that could appear ridiculous if executed by anyone but him.

But it’s not ridiculous. Somehow it’s moving and brave. Here’s a man who fiercely believes in dancing to his own tune.

Back to the voice. It moves from an easy sweetness to a guttural howl, often within seconds. It’s wistful and playful, and then low and menacing. It’s the Gary Oldman of voices.

Obvious to say, but it’s best showcased on the triumphant Seasons (Waiting On You), providing muscular, bristly contrast to the synth-soaked, sunny nostalgia of the music.

In Balance, Herring drops to a near-whisper as he sings: “It just takes time.” Long Flight, by comparison, borrows from death metal as Herring lowers his voice to an animal snarl.

The songs, deceptively enjoyable to listen to, are often studded with meditations on lost love. In the stirring Ran, we hear: “And what’s a song without you? When every song I write is about you / When I can’t hold myself without you / And I can’t change the day I found you.”

A careful listen to the words Herring sings, however, only adds to the cinematic quality of each track. There are songs here which could soundtrack an 80s John Hughes film.

An audience member at a Future Islands gig will find many things to enjoy. Perhaps the most enjoyable thing of all is the performance of a truly charismatic lead singer.