Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
There is an overwhelming urge to look on the dark side, the side of the fence with the weedy yard, crabgrass flowing out of the ground like a marauding stampede of enemies and broke down appliances strewn about those thick patches like exhausted dogs or cows. Never mind that you might have a better yard. You ignore that. You don't long for that weedy yard, but you just think about it, consider it as bad as your yard. There's a prevalence of negativity that's hard to get around. We're immersed in it, drowning in it most of the time.
The Futureheads, from Sunderland, England, seem on a mission to counteract that demented thought process. The jittery, black, white and gray, gray, grayness of the band's music gives way to a message of abiding positivity. It's like that hardcore screamo band, in all its black clothing and makeup, claiming to be praising God all the while, a combination that seems to stand in mocking contrast of peacefulness and a message of forgiveness, with its vocal lacerations and its visible anger. The Futureheads are something completely different than that, but the busted up, bankrupt, old, industrial warehouse building sound that they conjure is such that there's a conflicting strain there, one that gives off a sense of overcoming the sorry, sad sacks, instead of one of pure dread or foreboding. It's all downright uplifting, even in all that grayness.
The songs on the group's latest full-length, "The Chaos," are blistering anecdotes of the world not totally gone mad. They seem to be examples of people trying their damnedest not to get sucked into the same drain with the riff-raff and the rinds. It's a rage against the dim lights and dimmmer bulbs, those with the inclination to sulk and see their lives as unfulfilled. It's a rage against defeatism, against floundering and pissiness. It might not be what he intended with the phrase, but lead singer Ross Millard sings, "The power of persuasion is lost on the young," and when it's heard in the context of all the Futureheads material, we'd like to think that he's suggesting that it's hard to convince he youth of today that everything isn't just crumbling in front, behind, above and below them. There are plenty of things to appreciate. The end is not nigh.