The Futureheads: Skip To The End

They’re back, but minus all the shouting

“Notjustshouty! Mackemblokes anymore! ShoutyMackemblokes! (Three second pause). Mackemblokesblokes!” Oh no; there was a time when, such was The Futureheads’ disdain for linear time signature and coherent chorus line that you could induce heart attacks in the aged or fits in the epileptic simply by creeping up behind them and playing 12 seconds of ‘First Day’ in their ear. There were even unsubstantiated reports of unarmed robbers holding up a branch of HSBC in Sunderland by playing the cashiers the jerkier bits of ‘Carnival Kids’ from a portable stereo and ‘quirking’ them into handing over the cash. But ‘Hounds Of Love’ appears to have introduced The Future-Head-Heads! to the quaint pleasures of playing a song all at one speed, in the right order, and second album ‘News And Tributes’ is a far sturdier and popmungous slab of rock meatage as a result.

First single ‘Skip To The End’ even opens with a riff which, if it wasn’t actually written by Mötley Crüe in 1986, definitely gave them a hard-on while dreaming about stuffing it up a groupie to the applause of their peers. And in such a studded-jockstrapped vein it continues: thumpy Def Leppard one-armed drumming, plenty of ‘clap along Wem-ber-lee’ bits, and only a hint of the mimsy art-indie band beneath in the bits that go “ooh-na-na-na-na-nah!” like XTC spray-painting ‘Tossers’ over a ‘sold out’ poster for Bon Jovi and running home for a little wank and a little cry. It’sahit! Aproperhit-hit!