Release Date: Jun 3, 2008
Record label: Nul
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Fortunately, more than a few moments balance the quirky urgency of the Futureheads' earlier work with their simpler aesthetic here: "Broke Up the Time" is a classic Futureheads song, barreling along with call-and-response riffs and harmonies and leaving plenty of hooks in its wake. "Radio Heart" stutters and croons a tune about tuning into true love, with jagged guitars and spooky backing vocals that make it just strange enough. "Sleet" is aggressive and flirty at the same time, pairing rapid-fire drums with cheeky lyrics like "Let's go to bed, but let's not go to sleep.
The Futureheads, who have had to go it alone since being dropped by their major label, have gone for the jugular with this album. No longer taking it "easy, humble and discreetly", as they sing on the title track, they now sound like the Jam, firing off aggressive salvos as though their subtle second album had never happened. There are hooks and harmonies aplenty, but the unrelenting punk pace is exhausting: only the balm of Hard to Bare offers any pause for thought, and the songwriting remains pedestrian.
The last place most bands want to be when releasing their third full-length is out in the world alone, doing it for themselves. A nimble, wound-up ball of energetic pop, the Futureheads are now that band. They rose up through the rampant, blind enthusiasm of post-9/11 rock & roll recovery; the Karen ’00s, if you will (please, don’t).