Monday, June 16, 2008
Futureheads CD review
(This review originally appeared in IE Weekly)
This is Not the World
In 2004, The Futureheads crash landed on American shores with one hell of an adrenaline-fueled debut. The U.K. quartet’s short and angular, post-punk guitar songs - partially guided by Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill – bore Jam and XTC influences and cascading harmonies. Despite a primo slot at Coachella ‘05, stint opening for Franz Ferdinand, videogame (“Burnout 3”) and TV (“The O.C.”) exposure, plus a deft take on Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love,” they failed to find major success here. Ditto the glossier, more mature News and Tributes. If there’s any justice, the third time will be the charm. This is Not the World, produced by Youth (Killing Joke, the Verve), is more direct and enjoyable than its predecessor. Urgent, pogo-worthy numbers (“Beginning of the Twist,” “Walking Backwards”) could give Kaiser Chiefs a run for the money. Singer/guitarists Barry Hyde and Ross Millard’s distinctly British vocals are also excellent throughout. The poppy “Radio Heart” humorously describes traits for a potential mate. A lurching guitar solo on “Sale of the Century” and pedal steel work during the poignant “Hard to Bear” (about a guy who consoles his buddy after a difficult breakup) shake up the frantic formula with winning results.