The Futureheads - This is Not The World

Paul Cook 19/05/2008

Rating: 4/5

The Futureheads' This is Not The World is released almost 2 years to the day of second album News and Tributes. Amidst the lack of anticipation stands strong a driven, thoughtfully produced record which makes us wonder why there hasn't been more hype. Demonstrating that Sunderland's four-piece post-punk-pop outfit have something extra-ordinary the new album will pleasantly surprise any cynic and prove fans' claims that they're a solid, original band.

Opening track The Beginning of the Twist the second single released from the album, out back in March, is an anthemic, simply-strummed rock song of the kind we've come to expect from The Futureheads. Immediately catchy, sing-a-long lyrics make The Beginning of the Twist a fantastic opener and firm live favourite for any fan. The following number Walking Backwards however is well above and beyond the former, with another infectious chorus and crystal clear, well written lyrics. Third track Think Tonight makes for a nicely balanced opening trio with its all-out punk rock style and thundering drum beat.

Radio Heart and title track This is Not The World inhabit spots 4 and 5 on the album, although not possessing the catchy riffs of the preceding tracks still feature some well written and fantastically delivered lyrics from frontman Ross Millard. Radio Heart is due for release today as a single twinned with Charity Shop, a track omitted from the album, and with it's addictive lyrics and vocals certainly deserves a top 40 spot, no doubt. Sale of the Century also provides much the same satisfaction, interesting lyrics, precise vocals although the riff is particularly lack lustre. Luckily Hard to Bear picks back up the quality and originality of the first three, with a country-tinged approach to punk-pop where Millard forcefully leads the track with a powerful vocal performance.

It isn't until Broke Up Time and Everything's Changing Today have arrived that the album is in top gear and driving relentlessly towards being the two catchiest, most exciting tracks, instrumentally on the entire album. Lightning energy and pace meets pinpoint vocals and along with the earlier opening tracks draw complimentary parallels with The Young Knives. Sleet and See What You Want finish the album off in the way that it started, powerfully infectious and ultimately tops off an extremely high quality, surprisingly polished album.

Released : 26/05/08