The Futureheads - News And Tributes

'News & Tributes' certainly isn't as quick off the mark as the band's self titled debut, but what you put in you get back tenfold. There's nothing novelty about The Futureheads now.

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Released 30 May 2006 | 679 Recordings | By Stephen Ackroyd | Rating: 4-5
The Futureheads - News And Tributes

You can be sure that at some point in the future, some daft musical historian is going to try and convince us The Futureheads were a novelty band. After all, their biggest hit to date was an off the wall reworking of a Kate Bush record; why pay attention to the equally mind blowingly brilliant album of material attached to it?

Of course, they've got them stumped now. Second albums aren't supposed to be very good; not unless you're Radiohead or something. 'News And Tributes' is a complete dismantling of everything that made The Futureheads so ace. Where before there was a fantastically immediate punky bunch of upstarts, now stands a gang of unnervingly smart, often understated Mackems with one hell of an edge.

'Yes/No' may be quite close to your typical Futureheads, packed with bursts of sharp guitars and barked vocals, but that's where the easy comparisons stop. 'Cope' has been mentioned in the same breath as Blur's 'Starshaped' (presumably due to the numerous references to Julian which litter 'Modern Life Is Rubbish', another sophamore effort to completely change preconceptions), while 'Skip To The End' is something akin to a power-pop-punk epiphany. No need for power chords and the kitchen sink, a singular riff and some brilliant British pop music combine to make a track that, although initially seeming a grower, after a few listens makes any such tag seem more than a little bit silly.

It's from here on in that things get really interesting. 'Burnt' sounds something in between cinematic and down right bloody huge, 'Return of the Beserker' out screams everything in sight and 'Back To The Sea' has what could be the best pop chorus ever, proving, as the track states, "It's not what you put in, but what you take away".

'News & Tributes' certainly isn't as quick off the mark as the band's self titled debut, but what you put in you get back tenfold. The foundations for something quite extraordinary, there's nothing novelty about The Futureheads now.