Living in the U.S. does so remove one from the UK hype bubble, perpetrated chiefly by the NME mob. Often this is a good thing, given that mag's insatiable proclivity for building up the next big British debut, only to then rip the rising stars to shreds on their sophomore release.
It does also shadow some of the build up to releases of established Brit acts, though, which is precisely why news of The Futureheads' new effort is just reaching H-T-A shores.
The Sunderland band's fourth outing is mooted to be somewhat darker and generally tougher, which is borne out by the bristling attitude of lead track Struck Dumb. Throwing out lyrical couplets like "the negativity, is ruining your sleep....so say hello to something only I know", the group sound like they plan to exorcise some demons on new album The Chaos, due out in May back home and early June for North America.
MP3: The Futureheads - Struck Dumb
What it might give up in the poppier melodies of past tunes like Skip To The End (video below), this one makes up for with a renewed vigour and attitude. Coming from a band that have an air of The Clash about them, I'm feeling this direction and would certainly take a White Riot over Rock The Casbah moment, given the option. It does of course remain to be seen whether the whole album shoots from the hip in this vein but for the moment it's a satisfying indicator.
The Futureheads tour the UK in support of this album come May, after which it seems plausible that a couple of US dates could be squeezed in to promote it here ahead of the festival season. If so, expect a report in these pages once all the angst has been wrung from the new tunes. Perhaps.