Whatever the reason why angular dance-punk has taken the reins as the indie kid’s movement du jour, the Futureheads represent the mini-genre’s natural endpoint. Both live and on their debut self-titled Sire album, the four-piece U.K. group rips through its sound-alike songs with precision, playing so fast that trying to dance along could cause heart failure (though dancing along is exactly what they’re begging the audience to do.) It’s sweaty, sure, but not much more than that: All the double-helix vocals in the world can’t cover up the lack of depth in this noisy sea.
They’ve got it together, though. Nearly all of the band’s three-minute-and-under songs have a pointed, unexpected break, which the audience takes as the song’s end, before (without counting it back in) the band jumps into action again. A cover of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love” begins with an audience-sung round before popping back into the two-chord octave riff the band relies on constantly, inspiring a bit of reasonless jumping.
That the band’s album was produced by Gang of Four member Andy Gill is a sign of encouragement from the group’s obvious forebear, but if they don’t find at least a bit of range — fast — the Futureheads are going to end up being the kind of band that’s forgotten rather than revered.