The Futureheads 

News and Tributes (Vagrant)

The Futureheads' sophomore album demonstrates their maturation artistically, as it melds the UK rockers' existing power riffs, drums, and bass lines with claps, shakers, Beach Boys-styled harmonies and evolved lyrics. "The Return of the Berserker" and "Cope" offer hard, pogo-worthy punk rock, while the shouted vocals admonishing listeners to "Go home/Think about it properly" on opener "Yes/No" forecast a highly introspective album where each track documents the nervousness about change that plagues many rock stars early in their careers. Even the reflective title track — which mourns the 1958 Munich air crash that claimed the lives of 23 Manchester United soccer players, staff and reporters returning from a winning game in Belgrade — seems to suggest the band's own fear of a similarly premature end. Not if this album is any indication.

More by Joshua Rotter

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