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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Futureheads: More British Than Bad Teeth, Earl Grey, and Cross-Dressing Comedians Combined

Before the show, I was anticipating seeing a different band than what I heard on their recently released self-titled record; sometimes one can just tell these things. I also happened to be battling this guilty feeling that I would be totally in love with this band if they somehow had an American fraternal twin. Perhaps it is just a matter of personal taste, but overtly British music, film, and, uuugh, comedy is not terribly appealing to me. I hoped that seeing them play would tie up some loose ends and provide me with a happy new addition to my current repertoire.

For starters, they look super dorky: 3/4 of the members buttoned the top button: good start. Second, 4/4 of the members sing…yes…including the drummer. They definitely put on a no frills performance, no outfits, just accents. They mentioned something about the Red Sox, which didn’t solicit any response from the crowd, because no one could understand them! I was happy to see a pretty packed room, given the rain and the fact that the 1/3 local band The Exit played before them. Never the less, everyone was bouncy and in good spirits. I even saw a few craigslist pick-up attempts the next day, good sign!

As layered and wonderful as the record is with mouthwatering indie-pop harmonies, the live show is an accelerated orgy that lets you pay attention to little else. I’ll attest to the scratch guitars and better-than-usual drumbeats, but my attention was drawn far from those elements. The harmonizing took over all usually necessary instrumentation, making those pieces minute background enhancers comparable to let’s say…the triangle player in a full piece orchestra.

After the show, going back and listening to the record, I can really appreciate the hardware that makes up the song writing. There are so many small fragments and shavings of tasteful sounds that fit perfectly next to one another. Hand claps so subtle that they do not beg for crowd accompaniment, guitar riffs that do not seek imperium, and little need for formal choruses. All the arty comments aside, they are a good night out, a pleasure to listen to in the comfort of one’s home, and by far more creative and interesting than Franz Ferdinand whom they toured with earlier this fall. Don’t let anyone tell you they should be associated with such bland hyped neo-garage boringness….and it’s totally cool that they sound hyperly British at times. The Futureheads will be a pleasant addition to your collection.