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The Futureheads
THE FUTUREHEADS
(Sire)

For their debut CD (out this Tuesday on Sire), Englandís Futureheads enlist Andy Gill as their producer ó a fitting choice given that the guitars here sound as if they might have been played by the former Gang of Four punk-rocker. The very same jagged and jarring guitar rhythms that fueled Gang of Fourís classic Entertainment, punctuated by the same serrated staccato six-string hooks, are present throughout The Futureheads. What distinguishes this band from Gillís former group (and other new-wavy neo-post-punk English outfits like Franz Ferdinand) are the vocals. Barry Hyde uses his voice as an instrument, and that plus the spot-on harmonies brings to mind one of Gang of Fourís art-punk contemporaries, XTC. "Decent Days and Nights" in particular is saved from blandness by a great vocal hook, with drummer Dave Hyde (Barryís younger brother), singer/guitarist Ross Millard, and bassist Jaff joining in with choir-like harmonies. Hyde and Millard even pull off an a cappella track, "Danger of the Water." Elsewhere, the unbridled joy of "A to B" and the punk energy of the anthem "Carnival Kids" are infectious. The Futureheads falter only on the mopy, melancholy "Stupid and Silent." Still, when a band pack 14 hook-filled tunes into a 33-minute CD, itís hard to complain.

(The Futureheads perform November 4 at T.T. the Bearís Place, 10 Brookline Street in Central Square; call 617-492-BEAR.)

BY RYAN STEWART


Issue Date: October 22 - 28, 2004
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