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I have been listening to this album pretty much constantly for the last few weeks now, and that as you can probably tell, means I approve! I have been a massive Futureheads fan since I first saw them supporting The Zutons back in 2004 and have been keeping a close watch on their activities and have seen them a few times since then.
Since their first album (which I rate as one of my favourite and most influential albums ever) they have been on a slightly worrying downward slope. Their second album was a flop and saw them dropped from their record label, I thought this would then be the death-knell for The Futureheads. However, they held their own, started up their own label and starting work on a 3rd album. This was much better received and drew a sigh of relief from me!
The Chaos is indicative of a further step back to their seminal form and really characterises their unique prand of spikey indie-pop. They have managed to write a number of really catchy tunes, whilst ensuring they do not blend into one. Lyrical and vocal prowess is also apparent from the whole band, which is one feature I like in their style - that they all sing a little.
I could quite happily play the first 5 tracks on repeat for a while and not be bored. I particularly like Struck Dumb and The Connector, both meaty tracks with recognisable themes and powerful choruses. In fact the album maintains a shameless self-confidence throughout, nothing seems done accidentally and it is clear that The Futureheads really know what they are doing at the mixing desk.
I am delighted that they have found form again with this instalment and I look forward to seeing them at Summer Sundae festival this summer. If you are not familiar with the band and are unnacquanted with colloquial, guitar-driven indie-pop (first of all, where have you been the last decade?) then give them a chance. They are not everyone's cup of tea, but I am sure they would recognise this as a strength. They do not blend into the background, they are synonymous with a style they like to stay true to, which I for one a glad of.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Chaos
2 Struck Dumb
3 Heartbeat Song
4 Stop The Noise
5 The Connector
6 I Can Do That
7 Sun Goes Down
8 This Is The Life
9 The Baron
10 Dirt In The Map