The Futureheads

The fifteen tunes on the Futureheads' self-titled debut are loud, fast, and brief. Guitarists Barry Hyde and Ross Millard pile up shards of slash-and-burn riffery in "He Knows" and "Carnival Kids," while Hyde's strangulated yelp in "The City Is Here for You to Use" and "First Day" competes with the product of any Robert Smith acolyte in its ready-made melodrama. But the band keeps its moves so taut that they glimmer with newness anyway. Better yet, they allow for the occasional flash of feeling; "Meantime," for example, bends Wire's bare-bones art-punk into an almost-ballad for a Tubeway Army in retreat.

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Mikael Wood