Boy, what a comeback. You know the story – smash debut, â€˜difficultâ€™ second and now for the third â€“ â€˜This Is Not The Worldâ€™ is bold, brash and as in-yer-face as way back when these boys first embedded into your consciousness in 2004.
After a silently busy year away from the spotlight (after parting with their then record label 679), The Futureheads embraced the punk-rock ethic like never before. Along with their management company Big Life, Barry, Ross, Jaff and Dave hatched plans to release their third album independently and in doing so took control of their own destiny. They returned in late 2007 with a free download of â€˜Broke Up The Timeâ€™ and some key live shows in London and hometown Sunderland.
Live tours have dominated the opening of 2008 in advance of the first single release â€˜The Beginning Of The Twistâ€™ (Nul Records) on March 10. Sitting happily on the A list at Radio One and MTV2, the response to the single has been immense. TV calls for the band have also included Sound, The Culture Show and The Album Chart Show. Exciting times, indeed.
Having won themselves a wealth of fans and supporters over their five years of making music together, The Futureheads have produced some of the most invigorating guitar driven punk-pop this country has had to offer in decades. Debut album â€˜The Futureheadsâ€™ was released in 2004 and â€˜News & Tributesâ€™ followed in 2006.
â€˜This Is Not The Worldâ€™, it could be said, is an amalgamation of the two â€“ it has the excitement, urgency and vigour of â€˜The Futureheadsâ€™ with the added control, sincerity and maturity employed on â€˜News & Tributesâ€™. Itâ€™s the album they always intended to make.
Recorded over three weeks in Spain last summer, legendary producer Youth (Primal Scream, The Verve) clipped the Mackem ladsâ€™ overflowing pot of songs into shape. Out of it came twelve short, sharp, shocks of pure Futurehead joy, not dismissing the killer hooks and choruses that adorn each and every one. A change of scenery clearly served them well.
The album opens with first single â€˜The Beginning Of The Twistâ€™. Itâ€™s replete with rhythmic guitars, clever harmonies and urgent vocals spiced with their distinctive accents that we all know and love. â€˜Walking Backwardsâ€™ maintains the pace and offers up one of the catchiest choruses on the album (and thereâ€™s some tough competition). â€˜Think Tonightâ€™â€™s driving force and â€˜bah-bah-bahâ€™s shakes things up and sounds like the perfect accompaniment to â€˜The Barry Hyde Shuffleâ€™.
Highly expected to be their pre-album single, â€˜Radio Heartâ€™ opens with clean drums and simple guitar riffs. Spot on minor-key harmonies adorn the chorus and the outro and give this catchy pop song an eerily dark undertone. Title track â€˜This Is Not The Worldâ€™ follows confidently. Itâ€™s a heady mix of a dominant bassline and glitchy guitar parts for the verse, leading into riding symbols, rasping snares and four-part harmonies on the chorus. Big.
And so it continues. â€˜Sale Of The Centuryâ€™, â€˜Hard To Bearâ€™ and â€˜Work Is Never Doneâ€™ are all evidence of how this band have grown. The writing skills on show and the complexities amidst each track are testament to The Futureheadsâ€™ focus and drive to get this right. While Barry and Ross predominately share writing duties, â€˜Work Is Never Doneâ€™ is the first on the album to feature lead vocals by Ross.
â€˜Broke Up The Timeâ€™ is classic Futureheads and could have quite happily sat next to â€™Carnival Kidsâ€™ or â€˜The City Is Here For You To Useâ€™ on their debut. More off-beat â€˜AH-AH, AH-AHâ€™â€™S pepper â€˜Everythingâ€™s Changing Todayâ€™ and â€˜Sleetâ€™ boasts one the best intros on the record. You canâ€™t fail to jump about to this upbeat turn with its shifting time signatures and happy-go-lucky vibe.
Closing track, â€˜See What You Wantâ€™ rounds things off perfectly. Like any live show theyâ€™ve ever played itâ€™s bold, fun and fast and incidentally, the shortest song on the album â€“ the only one under three minutes â€“ I told you theyâ€™d changed.
This time around, The Futureheads are relaxed and confident and they want the world to know it â€“ but most importantly, with this record – it shows.
â€˜This Is Not The Worldâ€™
The Beginning Of The Twist
This Not The World
Sale Of The Century
Hard To Bear
Work Is Never Done
Broke Up The Time
Everything’s Changing Today
See What You Want
The band headline Brixton Academy on March 20 (XFM Big Night Out) and are touring the UK from mid-May. News will be announced shortly on The Futureheads plans for the US, and In the meantime I do have some advance cds, so hollar if you’d like to be among the first to hear this beauty. I can feel it coming, the beginning of the twistâ€¦
For all media inquiries and advance copies please contact:
SiouxZ@magnumpr.net / 212.532.4650
The Futureheads formed in 2000, in Sunderland. More specifically, in Barry’s garage really. The line-up of the band at that point was Jaff (Bass, Vocals), Barry Hyde (Guitar, Vocals), Ross Millard (Guitar, Vocals), and Peter Brewis, now of cerebral pop-masterpiece-makers Field Music.
After playing a million and one hometown shows, the Futuremen took the show on the road with a massive helping hand from Slampt Records’ Milky Wimpshake. A tour of Squats and Youth Centres in Central Europe came in summer 2001, due to which the band switched out drummers. In place of Peter Brewis ambled a young pretender, Mr David Hyde (Drums, Vocals).
Several singles followed – the first, Nul Book Standard, can now be seen casually hanging out on eBay from time to time. A relationship with the lovely people at Fantastic Plastic briefly followed. ‘The Futureheads’ was released in summer 2004, on 679 Recordings, and then the band hit the road. Some highlights of 2005 include playing Glastonbury Festival on Baz’s birthday, Hounds Of Love going Top Ten, meeting Dennis Hopper on Jimmy Kimmel’s US TV Show, and getting that most infamous of Albatrosses, The Second Album under their belts.
â€˜News and Tributesâ€™ was released in May 2006. It reached #11 in the album chart, and saw the band touring the world and continuing to win fans and supporters with their exhilarating live shows.
Fast forward to 2008, and The Futureheads are back, bolder and better than ever, exploding back onto the scene with their new album â€˜This Is Not The Worldâ€™. Embracing the punk-rock ethic like never before, Barry, Ross, Jaff and Dave are releasing their third album independently and taking control of their own destiny. Itâ€™s going to feel like the first time, all over againâ€¦
Annoyed and frustrated too many times by the bureaucratic nightmare that music had become, the band split with former label 679 in late 2006. A silently busy year followed which saw the band writing and recording, and teaming up with their management to launch their own label Nul Records, solely to release music by The Futureheads. Free of major label shackles, the band are taking back control and relishing being their own bosses.
â€˜This Is Not The Worldâ€™ was recorded in 3 weeks in the summer with super-producer Youth at his studio â€˜Space Mountainâ€™ in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Andalusia. About as far away atmospherically as you can get from the bleak Scarborough farm in which they recorded â€˜News And Tributesâ€™, the band couldnâ€™t help but be influenced by Youthâ€™s enthusiasm, and describe the album as one of â€˜defiance, optimism and joy.â€™
Keen to share the joy with fans, the band released 2 tracks as free downloads and played intimate shows in London and Sunderland at the end of 2007. They begin 2008 with not one but two tours across the UK and kick off the year with storming new single, â€˜The Beginning Of The Twistâ€™, released March 10th.