Futureheads News and Tributes

The most telling part of this intense band’s ear-searing debut was the very last sentence of "Shut Up!” It came from a band that had given their all and more to their introduction, and, finally, could give no more. While one would think the abandon of youth would permit the band to give such fervour to their sophomore, alas, they do not. That is what makes this sophomore effort more intriguing than satisfying. Wait! Don’t go away yet! It may be unfair to compare albums, but even as a stand-alone effort, this seems to be of two minds. One is of the past, where songs "Cope,” "Favours for Favours” and "Return of the Beserker” scorch the stereo and demand the person to dance, but the other is of an uncertain future. Here, ideas like the title track reign. Concentrating on melody and introspection, it is decidedly more pedestrian. This conflict gets rid of their prized cohesion and military precision, and allows some doubt to seep in. Still, even a slightly flawed Futureheads album is still better than most albums out there. Thus, despite the griping, News and Tributes continues their singular sonic quest admirably, although not without several noticeable flaws. (Virgin/EMI)