Philly punks Nothing are back from the brink with a new record that draws on some really, really bad times.
The Futureheads : Decent Days And Nights
Your brain may never be the same...
a Nabokovian mind-puzzle, a Rubik's cube of dizzying harmonics and cryptic hieroglyphic yelpings about clues and answers, barked at you in bewilderingly broad Mackem accents. Listen to it after a gullet-load of mushrooms and it's some kind of three-minute sonic prophet, explaining the mysteries of the universe via the ancient mediums of the post-punk melodia. Listen to it pissed and you'll probably just want to dance like a loon.
And therein lies the multi-faceted brilliance of The Futureheads' 'Decent Days And Nights'. Before they disappeared off the radar sometime around last Christmas with an ultra-limited vinyl-only cover of Kate Bush's 'Hounds Of Love', they were the kind of band that music journalists lazily invent compound adjectives like jitterpunk and agit-pop for: they were - and remain - a little bit nerdy, a little bit pissed off and (back in the day, at any rate) a little bit too content to mask the occasional tuneless dirge behind crafty four-part harmonies.
For those whose eyes rarely wander from the Top 40, however, this will be their first introduction to these XTC-fixated pop boffins with their dizzying harmonics and cranium-frying melodies, and what a first impression it'll make. Guitars smash'n'grabbed from Jam's 'Down In
The Tube Station At Midnight', lyrics nabbed off Catchphrase ("SAY!/What you SEE!") but with a jerky-perky spasm all its own, 'Decent Days...' rattles along under the firm belief that its head is a magic eight-ball and the meaning of life will eventually become clear if it shakes it hard enough. Franz Ferdinand might have beaten them to the punch in taking obscure early-'80s indie to the masses, and four bookish northerners in NHS spectacles are unlikely to cause Strokes-like levels of pant-dampening, yet this remains utterly thrilling pop music from beginning to end.
The Strokes dabble with sounds from throughout their career on a satisfying return
Once the thrill of the cast and visuals wears off, this follow-up to Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland is a drag
George Clooney and Julia Roberts bounce off each other like pros in this amusing take on fat cat greed
The hooks are plentiful and the energy’s palpable, but the Bottlemen still don’t have a ‘Wonderwall’