The Futureheads harmonize but not in a Color Me Badd kind of way. Oh well. - Oh My Rockness

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The Futureheads harmonize but not in a Color Me Badd kind of way. Oh well.

February 17, 2005
I was just saying to my pal, Mr. Stuffins (he's a "stuffed" bear that lives in my room but he's REAL) the other day, "Mr. Stuffins, you know what I would love to hear? I would love to hear a band that can bust out the four-part harmonies with flawless execution. No Mr. Stuffins, not like Color Me Badd. I'm talking about a band with four-part harmonies that can also dirty me up and slap me in the face." Mr. Stuffins gave me a little wink and sure enough later that night, The Futurheads self-titled CD was mysteriously nestled under my pillow. Mr. Stuffins! I knew you were real!

Britain's The Futureheads exhibit such manic, magnetic energy on stage they can pull off getting interactive. The band likes to designate different vocal parts for the different sections of the crowd. Somehow the back section, the front section and the balcony can all shout "oh oh oh oh oh" in punk-perfect harmony. And you thought crowd commands only happened in hip-hop. Thankfully no one has to "raise their hands up high." No, instead of hand raising, there's just a whole lot of gyrating. For band comparisons, think of The Futureheads as Franz Ferdinand meets Wire meets, oh you know, all those other Brit bands.

With four singer-guitarists taking turns shouting short, sharp songs and trading stabs and jabs with spiky guitars, The Futureheads make it clear that this band is a joint effort. The multi-vocalist technique allows their songs to sidestep the familiar punk trap of sounding the same. Let's face it, there's not a whole lot you can do with these "retro-futurist" chords, so you might as well have a different shouter and wailer to mix things up a bit. But if you blink, you'll miss it. Their album has 14 blistering songs clocking in at just 33 minutes. And the band is just as quick on stage. Their set will be over before you even realize you're smiling and sweating.

This show is sold-out. I got tickets only because I traded Mr. Stuffins to some kid on Craigslist for a pair (let's just say we had a falling out over a stolen Chevy Impala and a woman from Toledo).

The Futureheads play Bowery Ballroom, Tuesday, February 22nd.


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