Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the future...maybe?

The Futureheads
"News and Tributes"

For their 2004 self-titled debut, UK import The Futureheads ended The Killers-dominated summer by kicking out some serious rock jams. It was all sorts of poppy, but it didn't overtly try to rip off Depeche Mode. Instead, The Futureheads paid homage to Gang of Four and Dexy's Midnight Runners, but not before getting lumped in with every band from the UK who had guitars and didn't sound like Coldplay, therefore, sounding like Gang of Four: Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, etc.

Their sophomore release, "News and Tributes," finds the band with a new found stateside interest, as well as a new American label in pop-punk powerhouse, Vagrant. If you were hoping that they would trip on themselves and start hammering out buzzsaw guitars and screamo-ing vocals, you're sorely mistaken.

If "The Futureheads" was their tribute to Gang of Four, "News" certainly owes a lot to Hall & Oates. On tracks like "Skip To the End" and "News and Tributes" The Futureheads exhibit blue-eyed soul-styled harmonies over treble-heavy guitars. The melodies are catchier than ever. In short, The Futureheads are moving closer to becoming your favorite pop band.

Unfortunately, there's a bunch of bonus tracks from a previously released EP tacked on to the end of the album, so the record tends to drag, but it's still a lot better than half the new releases that occupy space at Tower Records.


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