Date TimeSeptember 01, 2019
Voice(Nul)A ceaselessly innovative mix of post-punk dynamics, melodic nous and intricate four-part harmonies always set the Futureheads apart from their 00s indie peers. Indeed, there’s an argument that had they come from Brooklyn instead of Sunderland they could have been huge. As it was, when they went on hiatus after 2012’s entirely a cappella set Rant, it caused barely a stir. Frontman Barry Hyde broke cover in 2016 to release an emotionally raw solo album that chronicled his struggle with mental illness, but Powers is the first album the four-piece have made together in seven years. Pleasingly, they’ve managed to recapture what made them so special first time around: the likes of the standout Good Night Out and Headcase would have fitted seamlessly on 2010’s The Chaos.
The Futureheads: Powers review – a welcome return
As ever, there is joy to be found in the sheer inventiveness of the twisting, turning arrangements and their Buzzcocks-worthy choruses. But this isn’t simply an exercise in nostalgia. The furious, pro-Europe Across the Border appears to be explicitly railing against lazy criticism of their hometown’s vote to leave the EU: “Where were you when it all fell apart? What did you do to stop it happening?” While there’s nothing here that quite matches the highest highs of their first pass, this is a welcome return for a singular and important band.

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