The Futureheads - News and Tributes (Cover Artwork)

The Futureheads

The Futureheads: News and TributesNews and Tributes (2006)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

While the Futureheads won me over with the angular guitar work, frenetic pop songwriting and impeccable vocal harmonies of their debut it wasn't until I caught the band live that I pegged what made them so endearing. Between the pompous, ironic rock of Louis XVI and the overblown light show that was.

While the Futureheads won me over with the angular guitar work, frenetic pop songwriting and impeccable vocal harmonies of their debut it wasn't until I caught the band live that I pegged what made them so endearing. Between the pompous, ironic rock of Louis XVI and the overblown light show that was Hot Hot Heat, the unassuming Sunderland four-piece won the evening on skill alone. The Futureheads flawlessly delivered on the harmonic vocals of their studio work, nailing the energy with a punky live tempo and relying on absolutely zero gimmicks. They quite simply proved themselves a classy band, and while News and Tributes takes a bit of an unexpected detour it's that class that keeps it on track.

It comes as no surprise that the Futureheads made a quick and seamless transition to maturity. Still, after the wellspring of captivating, upbeat material from their debut one wishes the band would have stayed the course just a little while longer. That's not to say that News and Tributes fails to engage, but as an atmospheric, deeper work it connects on a different level. This is a mid-to-slow tempo take on their sound. It still carries the vocal influence of the Jam and the rhythmic timing of Gang of Four, only it comes from a more introspective place.

While the booming "Yes/No" storms out the gate with the deceptive simplicity of early songs like "A to B," somber tracks like "Cope" and "Burnt" set the prevailing mood. It's not until the album passes the raging, out of character "Return of the Berserker" that it delivers its true gems. The lyrically wonderful "Back to the Sea" eclipses the band's earlier stabs at balladry, while "Worry About It Later" shows that their joyful vocal work can be fully utilized even without the bombast of their past. While "Thursday" brings the record its most sedate moments, "Face" concludes the work by gradually raising the tempo and volume. In many ways it eases the band out of their introspective phase and back to form as an immediate, triumphant rock band.

(North American fans have the four-song Area EP included as a bonus, which is both a blessing and a curse for the release. While "Area" is one of the band's best realized songs it betrays the arrangement and intended conclusion of the record. An ill-conceived remix of "Decent Days and Nights" is completely out of place here. It's a nice gesture to include the rare material, but News and Tributes is far more cohesive an album without it.)

The Futureheads have made a headphone record, a collection best appreciated when you can give it the attention and patience it demands. They remain remarkably classy and enormously likable, and that carries them through an introverted shift that would sink other bands.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (October 19, 2006)


allison_le_gnome (October 15, 2006)

To the guy below me- I completely differentiate between listening to music and paying attention to it and listening to music and thinking about or doing something else. It's like two seperate things. There's some music I can't pay attention to, and some music where I can't pay attention to anything else while I'm listening to it.

Anonymous (October 15, 2006)

On the topic of 'head phone albums' - how many people here listen to music while not doing anything else? I recently mentioned to a friend that sometimes I lay in bed with iPod on and just close my eyes and got called a weirdo for it.


Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

pretty good album, decent review.
but their forte is definitely live performance.

adam (October 14, 2006)

This is the "Shy Child Remix." I don't really know anything about electronic music, but this sounds sort of like the type of song I'd come up with if I was making fun of remixes.


allison_le_gnome (October 14, 2006)

I completely love their first album, but I actually haven't heard this one yet.

I have one of their 7"s too. I can't remember what the A side is (one of the singles from the first album), but the B side is a really cool Decent Days and Nights remix- I think it said "bad acid remix" or something. I'm not sure if it's the same one as the Area EP included here or not.

greg0rb (October 13, 2006)

Yeah, I saw them at Pitchfork too and was pretty impressed. Three part harmonies pulled off impecibly live? Nice. Didn't listen to their 1st album much before that, but I had to go back and revist it afterwards. Havent heard this new one yet though.

jamespastepunk (October 13, 2006)

I saw the Futureheads at Pitchfork's festival. I could see the thought bubbles above people's heads "What's this fast shit, and why aren't they looking at their shoes?"

Score's for the live show.

danperrone (October 13, 2006)

i thought this cd was awful

it had nothing that made the first album so good

Dante3000 (October 13, 2006)

What you need to understand is that there's a problem.
A problem without any clues.
BUT!! Once you have the clues it's easy to get through.
I think you understand me.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

i really dug their first album. just a fun album. i gotta get around to buying this one of these days.

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