Nul Punchy comeback from reunited Sunderland postpunks.
Missing in action for most of the past decade, Sunderland’s Futureheads last released an album in 2012, the boldly left-field a-capella covers and remakes collection Rant. But now, after several years of solo projects and side careers, the quartet have reunited and returned in two-fisted fighting mood, fired up by timely social and political developments including their hometown’s unwelcome reputation as the unofficial capital of Brexit Britain. Their angular new-wave riffs and punchy power-pop harmonies sound richer and fresher than ever on rowdy belters like Jekyll and Across The Border, bellicose lyrical tirades swept along by Cardiacs-level psych-punk mania. Headcase and Mortals are exhilarating ear bashers too, all staccato chants and turboshanty rollicking. But there is a seam of fragile unease beneath all this boisterous chest thumping, notably on the swirling, chiming power-waltz Stranger In A New Town.
Blending brute physicality with caustic lyrics and sturdy melodic hooks, Powers is a confident and welcome comeback. ■■■■■■■■■■