Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Album Review: The Futureheads – The Chaos

Ah, The Futureheads. Some of Sunderland’s favorite sons won my heart back in 2004 when they released their self-titled LP, a brilliant pantheon of slick, angular Brit garage rock, peppered with memories of Madness, vintage Blur, and one hell of a kicky Kate Bush cover (I’ll never think of “Hounds of Love” in the same way again). Their subsequent couple of records didn’t quite grab me as much as The Futureheads did, so I was a little wary of latest release The Chaos. But guess what? Seems I’ll never learn my lesson, because this little album is pretty bloody good indeed. It doesn’t quite have that breathtaking spark of The Futureheads, but then again, it doesn’t need to.

The Chaos begins, quite rightly, with “The Chaos”, a punchy, taut number highlighting the sharp angles the band can still knock out with much aplomb. “Struck Dumb” keeps up the frenetic pace, and sees The Futureheads churn out their satirical social commentary backed by fast and furious guitars. It’s a straight up 80s revival for the cheeky poppy song “Heartbeat Song”, which seems almost, dare I say, youthfully sweet in its exuberance. “The Connector” totally makes me think of the glory days of Adam Ant, somewhat silly and verily unstoppable. The proceedings come to a hearty close with the fabulous “Jupiter”, with its humming intro, especially jangly guitar, and almost Queen-esque harmonizing. Well, without the Freddie falsetto, that is. And I love that chant of “Jupiter” as the song reaches its’ finale.

Listening to The Chaos reminds me a whole lot of how it felt and sounded when I first listened to the self-titled LP back six long years ago. The songs are so very good, so very catchy, and so very addictive. And while I’d hate to spoil all the frivolous fun, but in a way The Chaos seems a bit, well, mature. It’s like the band has grown up…maybe just a touch. Maturity or no, it’s a well-played return to form for The Futureheads, and I’m certainly impressed with this latest offering.

mp3: Struck Dumb (The Futureheads from The Chaos)

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