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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Futureheads
The Futureheads
Sire Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


March 7, 2005
Their trendy threads/haircuts, meteoric rise to iPod ubiquity - thanks largely to a certain other music website's unbridled fawning - and derivative nature aside, The Futureheads do indeed freakin' rock.

There's no other way to put it, really - "Carnival Kids" and "Decent Days And Nights" have had more than three months to sink into my consciousness, and between my relentless toe-tapping and singing along, that's the first and best description of those brilliant singles I can muster.

And therein lies the problem, as well: frequent exposure to these songs (damn you, local college radio station!) has been a far from unpleasant experience, but I can't really appreciate them beyond their immediate, visceral impact.

Sure, The Futureheads do exhibit an especially fine ear for pop songcraft, but they martial their melodic gifts with their angularity and startling punctuations, and in the end, their punch registers just as heavily as their hooks, and this suggests that, one day, we'll all find ourselves much less entranced by The Futureheads than we currently are.

Neither the songs' structures nor their lyrics offer rich rewards after close listening and dissection. This issue would be less problematic for a true blue punk rock band - as the majority of the music's charm, in that case, would lie in its ability to subvert and elicit a gut-level reaction - but The Futureheads' punk edge is mere dressing.

Like The Strokes, the 'Heads are the purest of pop bands just beneath the surface (or even on the surface, when their stunning vocal harmonies are firing on all four cylinders). The nature of their lyrics, which have more to do with relationships than socioeconomics or destruction, further attest to the band's poppiness, and yet, the record falls short of truly working as nuanced, timeless pop music because of the band's failure to fully embrace their core aesthetic.

Their blunt, emotionally distant lyrics and attempts to inject a little Wire into their Jam, so to speak, demonstrate that The Futureheads have a ways to grow before they're anything more than a really fast, fun, hip outfit. The Futureheads is a debut record, though, and very few pop bands, from The Who to The Smiths, have peaked with their first collection of songs, and the Heads' underdeveloped pop sensibilities leave them with a great deal of room to stretch out the next time around, which is particularly encouraging in light of the fact that most current hipster faves like Interpol and Franz Ferdinand seem to have nowhere to go that they haven't already been.

In the meantime, let it be remembered that this record still does freakin' rock.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan

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