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The Futureheads - News And Tributes

‘News And Tributes’ however, is not an arty album, despite first impressions, and after a few listens you’ll forget the chilly lows, and remember the pleasant summery highs.

Scarborough, one of England’s most historic but neglected seaside towns, is rarely the inspiration for an album that could make or break a band. Its charm draws families in the Summer, but during last December, it was home to The Futureheads, who have returned with a record as fresh and as challenging as the North Sea breeze.

‘News And Tributes’ has been tried and tested at a number of gigs this year, and has had a somewhat mixed reaction. It is not dissimilar to last year’s self-titled debut, which spawned a potential modern-day classic in ‘Hounds Of Love’, and their disjointed art-pop style has split the music industry in half. Dave Grohl loves it, Noel Gallagher calls it ‘weird’. It’s most certainly different.

The Sunderland lads have a knack of making songs with perfect time changes and beautiful harmonies, but there’s something about them which makes their music hard to sell. The funky ‘Back To The Sea’ is trademark Futureheads, with its intriguingly jaunty guitar riffs and off-beat lyrics. Opening track ‘Yes/No’ provides a strong start, and is as infectious as ‘Decent Days And Nights’ ever was, while ‘Face’ is as chilled out as the Scarborough winter weather.

Bold and brash first single ‘Skip To The End’ is bizarrely catchy and radio-friendly, despite having no obvious conventional hook line, but has been well promoted and is set to show off their commercial edge.

However, for every tune like that, the more arty, experimental style often kicks in, threatening to disillusion some of those hopping on to the bandwagon. ‘Thursday’ could be described as mundane if it wasn’t for Barry Hyde’s vocals, whilst title track ‘News and Tributes’ sounds like a Ordinary Boys B-side - and not in a good way.

‘News And Tributes’ however, is not an arty album, despite first impressions, and after a few listens you’ll forget the chilly lows, and remember the pleasant summery highs. It’s a bold step forward, and could just do the job to take The Futureheads up to the next level. Not weird, just slightly challenging.

Tags: The Futureheads, Reviews, Album Reviews

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