I first read about The Futureheads when their name graced the pages of NME, which at the time I was fairly certain meant that I should like them. I listened to their first self-titled album in 2004 — this feels like a long time ago — and was both disappointed and impressed.
Their sound has moments of beauty and magic but more often that not they are annoying and whiny. Noises clash and guitar chords and vocals clang on and on like an annoying roomate that just won’t stop making noise when you want to study. Some of their songs make you really want to like them.
Their cover of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love” is a soaring piece of magic that I have listened to numerous times. It is subtle and lets the vocals tell the story. It would go great in any soundtrack or playlist. Few bands can touch this.
Unfortunately, the rest of their album falters and stumbles. It is annoying and noisy in all the wrong ways. It seems the music they write can’t touch what they can do with a beautiful cover.
Since 2004 The Futureheads disappeared from my musical radar. They released two album I never listened to. I probably should sometime. A few days ago at the library I was checking out the librarians picks of cds and there sat The Chaos released in 2010 and I have been giving it a listen. At times it is good and at times it is bad. It is like watching an athlete who never lived up to their potential but has occasional moments of brilliance.
After “The Hounds of Love” finishes “Man Ray” starts to play and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I want to change back, go to where this band shines, where they live up to the 2004 hype, but then the kachung kachung riffs jostle me and I give up. Back to “The Hounds of Love” and thinking of what could’ve been.