The Futureheads: This Is Not the World

Two albums and one left-field Kate Bush cover into their career, the Futureheads found themselves without a label after 2006’s News and Tributes tanked hard enough for the band’s UK and American labels to pull their respective plugs. In another era, this might have sounded the death knell for such a young band, but this is the wild and crazy digital ‘00s, where global distribution is available to anyone with enough money (and a dangerous surplus of optimism) to start a label. The Futureheads, as it turns out, have both – which is a good thing for anyone with a jones for driving eighth notes, crashing drumbeats, and stridently gulpy New Wave vocals, because This Is Not the World delivers all of them in spades. The quirky personality the band displayed on earlier recordings is kept mostly in check here, in favor of a more traditional verse-chorus-verse pop aesthetic, but the change suits the band – and they get in and out too quickly to overstay their welcome, bashing out the album’s 12 tracks in just under 40 minutes. Longtime fans lamenting the lack of experimentation would do well to switch off their brains, turn this up, and jump around for awhile – and if you’re looking for your first perfect summer record of 2008, look no further. (Nul 2008)

Futureheads MySpace page