The Futureheads

Music Reviews The Futureheads
The Futureheads

The Futureheads’ self-titled 2004 debut LP bore a heavy XTC influence and featured tight four-part harmonies, but everything seemed rushed and half-formed, neutralizing the potentially tasty ingredients. The follow-up, however, finds the young English foursome more in control of its sound, as if the band figured out how to bottle its adrenaline instead of simply spewing it—apart from the frenetic “Cope” and “Return of the Berserker,” at least. On News and Tributes, The Futureheads integrate a number of intriguing elements—backing chorales ranging from intricate, Four Freshmen-like blends to Gregorian chants (with both extremes showing up in the inventive “Burnt” and “Worry About It Later”), pumped-up bass lines and the warming accents of fingerpicked acoustic guitar. In short, the band is now displaying an elevated gift for arrangement. The crucial next step is to start coming up with songs of commensurate sophistication, bringing substance to the sound, as Andy Partridge did with XTC.

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