Thursday, May 18th, 2006
Return Of The Beserker
Sunderland, England’s The Futureheads will release their second album News And Tributes on June 13 via Vagrant Records, who seem dead set on ditching the “emo label” label they’ve been saddled with since their inception. The DIY Rockstar makes an interesting point that this will be the first sophomore effort from the wave of Northern England dance-punk-new wave bands that were all the rage a couple years ago.
With the miniscule attention span of today’s indie scenester, how much of the fanbase for bands like The Futureheads can be expected to still be interested and how many will have moved onto the next hyped thing, especially without a sure-fire hit like the ‘Heads’ cover of “Hounds Of Love” off their debut? And lord knows the NME is due to turn on them any day now. The band tells The Guardian that this second record is a more mature affair, with stronger songwriting and less emphasis on frantic energy and Gigwise hears that it’s simply “better”.
Based only on the first single, “Skip To The End”, I’d say they haven’t strayed too much from formula but that’s fine with me – they’ve proven they know how to craft a hook and few out there can match their eccentric four-part harmonies. Check out the ecard for the album here and the video for the first single below. You can also befriend them at MySpace. They’re at the Phoenix with Tapes’n’tapes on July 26, tickets $15.
Another band that comes from the same local scene is Newcastle’s Maximo Park, whose A Certain Trigger also yielded no small amount of acclaim. Somewhat to my surprise, I prefer their odds and sods comp Missing Songs to the proper record, but to be fair I haven’t listened to Trigger nearly as much. Chart reports that the band is procrastinating on their second album by putting out the CD/DVD set Found On Film on June 5. It will feature all their videos, a tour documentary, live sessions, home videos, footage of the band as children, webcam footage… okay, maybe not the last few but basically anything talkie that they can cram on the disc. The audio portion of the set will feature some BBC sessions.
And yet another band that shares former members of both Maximo Park and The Futureheads is Field Music, who only just released their self-titled debut album domestically in April but have already followed that up with a b-sides comp called Write Your Own History. Gotta admit, I like them better listening to the album tracks than I did seeing them live at SxSW.
Also doing the b-sides/procrastination thing is Sufjan Stevens, who will put out a disc of another 21 songs and 76 minutes in tribute to the Lincoln state on July 11 called The Avalanche. Those of you who thought Illinois itself was too long can start running away screaming now. Those of you who loved the album – and I know there’s many of you/us – will be happy to hear that the flipside album is very much in the same vein as the a-side. While not as cohesive a whole, these aren’t half-finished demos but properly produced and finished songs unto themselves. Pitchfork this week has an interview with Stevens about The Avalanche and the baby they told him he was having. And here’s a track from The Avalanche:
Hour.ca talks fate with Film School and The Smidge Of Ashen Fluff has a fun story involving the band, a traffic cop and Seattle radio station KEXP. They’ve also got MP3s from the sessions that they were able to make because of one cop’s cool taste in music. We’ll see if the band tries the same trick tomorrow night when they play the Horseshoe here in Toronto – though saying they’re trying to get to CFNY will probably just get them arrested for having bad, bad taste.
np – Camera Obscura / Let’s Get Out Of This Country