Downright delightfulThe Futureheads - News and Tributes
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: May 29, 2006
Review by Andy ArgyrakisEven though The Futureheads have been together six years, the band truly flourished over the past two thanks in part to the single "Hounds of Love." That tune earned multiple honors, including top 10 status on the U.K. charts, being named "Track of the Year 2005" by NME and rated the #5 Single of 2005 by Pitchfork. Such attention was further supplemented by a tour with Franz Ferdinand, a main stage slot at last year's Coachella Festival and even fanfare by the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl.
In order to take a break from all the attention, the group retreated for six weeks in a Scarborough studio with producer Ben Hillier (Doves, Blur, Depeche Mode) to keep the obvious streaks of momentum going. And that's exactly what happens on this sophomore effort, which is an even more mature step up from its official self-titled debut steeped in additionally catchy choruses and bountiful four part harmonies. It is literally impossible to shake the contagiousness of the rough and ragged "Fallout" from one's head, a single in the making known for its foot stomping drum clashes, riveting guitars and concert hand clap potential. "Skip To the End" follows on its heels with raunchier riffs, falling somewhere between the Doves and Kaiser Chiefs, yet overflows with more melodic insistence than either of those acts usual deliver.
A bouncy Brit-rock vibe encapsulates "Favours For Favours," dipping between Manchester's thriving 80s scene and the more modern Morrissey, while "Return of the Beserker" goes balls to the walls with its aggressive torrent. Yet members show further evolution with their ability to tone down the dissonance for the much more subdued but still hook hearty "Burnt." The disc"s closer "Face" builds with razor sharp licks comparable to something Franz Ferdinand could churn out, though instead of leaning in a dance direction, explodes like a furious rock & roll romp. A limited pressing will feature three additional tracks from the previously released EP Area, though even without those bonuses, this follow-up to The Futureheads' eponymous debut is downright delightful.
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