on 26 May 2008
The spirit of New Wave is alive on this new Futureheads album. While the music has that jagged post-punk edge its motors along fueled by the energy and enthusiasm of 1978 - 1980. Like the Jam, Give Em' Enough Rope era Clash, early Undertones, the Ruts and the Skids? You'll love this! The band keep the pace up song after song, but just as it might all get a bit much they open out their sound for the second half of the album, starting with getting over a relationship song Hard to Bear. The lyrics here are basic, but as Barry Hyde sings them you realise what those bands of 30 years ago were missing - a decent tyneside accent. The Futureheads seem to chosen to put the best songs on the album towards the end. Broke Up The Time pumps furiously like a long distance runner finding their second wind as they catch sight of the finish line. The melodic rush of See What You Want To See finishes the album on triumphant form and must surely be a future single.
The Futureheads have proved that their old label were fools to drop them. But never mind that. With this album they show how good a band they can be.
on 28 July 2008
Even those who've given this 4 stars do it a huge disservice. It may not be identical to previous lp's (since when's that been a bad thing?) but it's unmistakably Futureheads. This time though, they're more majestic and anthemic. The choruses are simply huge. I don't agree with a previous reviewer who laments the disappearance of the trademark harmonies. Total nonsense. They're still there alright, but this time they're working with each other more, rather than against each other, making for a sound that is greater than the sum of it's parts and careers along at feral pace while delivering classic and addictive hooks. Their style is unique and the quality of the songs, musicianship and vocals is better than anything else it is mistakenly compared to by other reviewers here. So how anyone can say they've heard this all before is beyond me (unless you're referencing Real By Reel by XTC). The title track is probably the most rousingly glorious song I've ever heard.
on 2 June 2008
The Futureheads have returned with a brilliant and edgy album that acts as a nice antidote to some boring music currently entertaining the charts.
First single 'Beginning Of The Twist' starts off the album in exhilarating fashion and will become a festival favourite this summer.
'Walking Backwards' is equally as impressive and shows the futureheads can maintain quality on an album which was inconsistent on previous effort 'News and Tributes.'
'Think Tonight' sounds like an old Ramones record and is superb, with a brilliant intro!
'Radio Heart' is the second single and is enjoyable but lacks a killer chorus to really become a classic.
Title track 'This Is Not The World' is also a good song but doesn't maintain the good start.
'Sale Of The Century' is the albums highlight. A stunning song which should be a future single!
'Hard To Bear' continues the good run of SOTC and could be a future single perhaps.
'Work Is Never Done' is anoth futureheads classic, with a great intro and great chorus it is brilliant.
'Broke Up The Time' delivers a frantic opening and continues throughout the song to create a nice little tune!
'Everything's Changing Today' is a good album track but one you will probably forget soon after.
'Sleet' is poor and shouldnt be on the album.
'See What You Want' ends the album in a great way. Great intro and chorus.
It is easy to see why this album has received good reviews in the press, namely Q and NME. It is far better than 'News and Tributes' and returns the band back to the brilliant style of their debut album.
A must have for alternative music fans!
on 21 January 2009
Well where do you start with such a perfect album? Basically after the flop of their second album the Futureheads have gone back to more guitar and ear piercing drums with some very catchy melodies. A brilliant come back! For me the stand out tracks are Hard To Bear, Walking Backwards and obviously the singles that they have released but the whole album is very good. I can't believe anyone would give this album less than 5 stars. Full credit to the band many people would have given up, but the band have character and a brilliant spirit top album, a must buy for anyone listening to new music.
The Futureheads were energetic and infectious in their first album. Their second... not so much. It was more serious and downbeat, and just not as endearing.
So honestly I had no idea what "This is Not The World" would sound like, and whether they would return to Album No. 1's sound, or stick to their guns now that they have their own label. Well, the Futureheads don't take us anywhere new, but their raucously energetic third album strikes a solid balance between their two sounds, with perhaps a greater reliance on their older wildness.
It kicks off with a whirling riff and solid drums, morphing into a driving, tightly-wound post-punk powerpop number. "It's time to wake up/It's time to change," Barry Hyde calls out over the energetic music. "Let's get it started/I feel like there's so much to rearrange!"
But the song takes a slightly more ominous turn soon after that, though the energetic melody doesn't slow down at all. "If memory serves/Then why am I still waiting for it to return?/My head feels like it's just about to slip..." Hyde rambles on. Sounds like somebody's going a little nuts in this song -- sounds like that is the "twist" that is felt and concealed.
They lose a tiny bit of momentum after that, but there's still plenty of that smashing, urgent energy in "Walking Backgrounds," and the driving powerpop of "Think Tonight" ("You will never find anyone to come along and take you by surprise/Because you've had too much to think tonight!"). And they have plenty in the songs that follow -- the tightly-wound powerpop of the title track, a blazing dark-edged rock'n'roll number, muscular riff-fests, angular fuzzy explosions of sound. That wild energy gets even more intense as they roar on to the ending of the album, and it leaves you a bit breathless.
Well, the album isn't quite perfect, alas -- "Hard To Bear" lives up to its name, being both too uneven and emo for my taste, especially with those odd country-rock moments. And "Radio Heart" tries to have post-punk's speed and energy and a ballad's poignancy, but achieves neither.
For the record: "This is Not The World" does not really take the Futureheads anywhere new, musically speaking. This album basically sticks to what the Futureheads have done best in the past, particularly in their first album -- wild, energetic powerpop with lots of rough-edged, catchy melodies and solid instrumentation. It's a bit more polished, with a few new twists to their music, but not radically different.
As for what it sounds like -- rough-edged, fun, dancey and loaded with solid hooks. These guy have a good handle on intertwining their instrumentation, and even the slower songs are nimble and solid -- driving riffs and blasts of fuzzy, powerful bass, backed by the beat of thumping drums. All three get tightly wound together like a rope, and blast by with the power of a smallish train -- but the Futureheads allow individual band members to shine occasionally. A razor-edged solo here, a growly bassline there.
And personally I think it sounds like Barry Hyde is having fun here -- he has a muscular laddish style, and yowls dramatically over the music as if daring the instruments to drown him out. His peppy demeanor is a bit of a contrast to what he's actually singing, since a bleak undertone runs through some of the lyrics ("Sometimes it feels like we are stabbing in the dark with nothing to say/But when the lights go out, see no hear no speak no evil").
And there are still some sweeter moments woven in there, usually related to love ("So I guess I've got nothing to lose at this request/I want a girl who doesn't like to dress to impress/A girl with a radio heart...") Okay, I didn't like the song overall, but the lyrics are adorable.
"This is Not The World" is pretty much what you'd expect from a Futureheads album -- fast-moving punky powerpop with a danceable edge. It adds nothing new to their sound, but it rarely disappoints either.
on 30 May 2008
I still really enjoyed 'News and Tributes': different from the first album but still good. After a decent first track however, this album really goes downhill with the dull and generic 'Walking Backwards'. From there on it's pretty much more of the same, with the band clearly happy to join the ranks of faceless indie guitar bands clogging the charts these days. Most of the choppy rhythms and interesting time changes have been replaced with formulaic pop. There are still some decent songs to be found but most of it washes right over. Heard it before.
on 1 December 2008
Combines the fun of the first album with the variety of the second, it seems to me that The Futureheads are one of the UKs most unfairly overlooked acts. It really worries me that quality like this is overlooked while dross like Razorlight sells by the bucketload.
The vocals are stronger than ever, there's some cracking riffs and some pretty exciting drums to boot!! ...what more could you ask for? C'mon The 'heids!!
on 30 May 2008
i used to love them, as one of the most original post-punk band ever. this third album sounds like they have lost the faith and inspiration. whatever happened to their unique vocal arrangements and the way their songs where going places never visited before ? first everything here sounds weak, simple, lazy... but give it a second try and you'll find it better. Eventually, I put the album on my iPod, mixing the titles with the other's two. And some songs sounds now really great, like "hard to bear", "work is never done", "radio heart".