5.27.2008

Music Review: The Futureheads' This is Not the World

by Vincent Lee

After being dropped from 679 Recordings (a Warner Brothers label), The Futureheads rebounded by creating their own label, Nul Records, in the search for independence. And that search has resulted in a solid and consistent album. At nearly forty minutes and twelve tracks, This is Not the World (released Monday, May 26) is a shorter album and more direct than the British band's previous outing News and Tributes from 2006.

Upon a first listen one might discard This is Not the World, the band’s third release, as another boring and straightforward post-punk/pop album. In the barest definition this might be true, but a closer listen would reveal subtle creativity and extremely catchy hooks. No song even reaches four minutes, but each could easily be stuck in your head after only one or two listens. In addition to the catchy riffs the album has aggressive solos played with authority. Songs like “Walking Backwards” are prime examples of this style.

This is Not the World will satisfy a wide audience, but it is hard to pick out something that really defines this album as truly unique or special. Similar to most good post-punk/pop bands it is clear The Futureheads are somewhat held down by the studio sound. Most, if not all, of these songs would flourish in a live setting. This is Not the World will satisfy a broad range of listeners, but at varying degrees. Some might enjoy it as simple and pleasurable background music, while others may revel in the assertive solos and catchy lyrics. Any which way, The Futureheads are a pleasant surprise worthy of a listen.

(Promotional photo of The Futureheads from Nul Records. The Futureheads will make an in-store appearance to play and sign their new release on Wednesday, May 28 at HMV in Birmingham, England and the band will perform its next concert in London on Thursday, May 29, as part of a world tour. To see The Futureheads video for "Radio Heart" from the band's new release, please check below.)









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