Music review: The future is your head

FutureheadsFutureheads679 Recordings

Four and a half out of five stars

On their self-titled debut album, the four cocky blokes comprising the Futureheads spit foamy British phlegm in the face of fashionable Warped Tour punk and emo children everywhere.

And they do it a cappella. The total duration of Futureheads’ 15 songs is 35 minutes. The post-punk rockers manage to run a musical marathon in this short time, and the listener feels like he or she also did the same after hearing the album in its entirety.

Each song is vigorously attacked like a group of pit bulls would do to a Garden Burger-eating Good Charlotte fan-the band devours every track, leaving no scraps behind and never satisfying their appetite for more.

Pit bulls in their energy, but choirboys in their vocal harmonizing, the Futureheads deliver an incredibly catchy and soothing brand of musical slaughter. The band members’ four voices are the featured instruments through the entire album. Rabid punk guitar and drums are kept in a cage in the background, while the union of the thickly accented Brit’s voices takes center stage.

“Danger of the Water” provides the most obvious example, with a well-concealed keyboard as the only instrumental support for the otherwise entirely vocal track.

The Futureheads avoids the subjects of women and love, which are so often the headache-inducing ingredients of modern emo-pop-punk, until the second-to-last song, “Hounds of Love.” It’s a powerful Kate Bush cover and surprisingly compatible with the paradoxical spiky-yet-harmonic Futureheads sound and even if its subject matter strays, the song is a welcomed addition to the already rich collection of original material.

Detractors may feel that Futureheads is too rudimentary an album to be great, but upon closer examination, the seemingly basic lyrical and instrumental constructions turn out to be intricately woven and pop-perfect in almost every way.

This simplistic appearance is not an accident, but rather the means of delivering an unencumbered and highly energetic first release, worthy of mention as one of the best albums this year.

Drew Tabke