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The Futureheads: This Is Not The World

Album: This Is Not The World
Label: nul records

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The chunkiest of the post-punk Brit-revival wave, The Futureheads always make their songs sound like work: Where Franz Ferdinand et. al. aim for suppleness, The Futureheads are blunt, their rhythms almost excessively angular, their vocals shouty and thickly accented enough to give Andy Partridge pause. So it's a surprise when their third album's opener, "The Beginning Of The Twist," sounds downright dancey, rather than giving the lie to the title. More willing to cater to the kids who just want to move, they've also cut back on the misanthropy that gave birth to songs like "Stupid And Shallow." They may seem cagier now, more willing to indulge in forceful repetition for the sake of euphony rather than coherence, but they're also more willing to bash out instantly energizing jams. Hearing a band smooth out its rough edges is always weird; it's hard to tell whether what's gained in the process makes up for what originally made them appealing. But for all that, The Futureheads are as right-on as they've ever been.