[31 August 2010]
PopMatters PopLocal Features Editor
In the past six years, the Futureheads have run the gamut from indie post-punk hopefuls to generic alternative rockers courting a mild and benign obscurity. The selection of live tracks on their iTunes Festival EP thus tactfully defers to their not ungraceful decline. After pushing three songs from their new album The Chaos, each performance delves a bit deeper into the three albums of their not-so-storied past. The closer “Hounds of Love”, their biggest chart hit, is from their hailed debut and fittingly elicits the most enthusiastic response from the crowd, but the Futureheads stay fairly engaging throughout. “Struck Dumb” gets a loose, raucous treatment and “Work Is Never Done” sounds fast and furious, as it should. “Skip to the End”, a somewhat corny lament for the uncertainty of all things romantic from the 2006 album News and Tributes is the exception, unsurprisingly stale and trite and somehow obligatory, a necessary evil to reach the final gem. On the whole, iTunes Festival: London 2010 proves that the Futureheads can still put up a solid front, even if they have to draw increasingly on their reserves for support.