Album: The Futureheads, This Is Not the World (Nul)

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The Independent Culture

Dumped by their label after the poor showing of 2006's News and Tributes, The Futureheads went to Spain to record this follow-up at producer Youth's studio, releasing it on their own Nul Records. Sadly, it's no real improvement: despite the intentions professed in songs like "The Beginning of the Twist" ("There's so much to rearrange, let's get started") and "Everything's Changing Today", their dated indie-punk style disproves such claims.

Too much of the album sounds like plastic-punk one-hit-wonders The Vapors. Elsewhere the band mostly adopt a brittle, mannered style akin to Sparks, but with Barry Hyde's stiff, semi-spoken delivery. It works best on "Radio Heart", though Hyde's pastiche of Robert Smith on "Hard To Bear" ("You lock yourself in your room/ You keep the curtains closed to seal in the gloom") is worth a chuckle. Honest effort, expended in the wrong direction.

Pick of the album:'Radio Heart', 'Hard To Bear'