Fury of the Headteachers

You Took a Scythe Home

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The debut album by the excellently named Fury of the Headteachers falls between two stools, with its songs awkwardly pitched between the neo-Britpop of their Sheffield compatriots the Arctic Monkeys and a noisier, harder-edged brand of indie rock that's more than a little reminiscent of the grunge era. There are times when the combination works: "Right Is Right Is Right" has a breathless rush to its rhythm section while the guitars go all wonky and feedbacky, as if Bug-era Dinosaur Jr. put down the bong and wanted to try their hand at new wave dance music, and the equally noisy opening track, "Fables," has the strident, hectoring quality of a good post-punk single circa 1978. On occasions like that, the two sides of the band's musical personality mesh perfectly. But too often the band's obvious desire for good old-fashioned guitar skronk sounds frustratingly muted; first single "Farewell Comrade" would do well if the hints of distortion around the song's edges were amped up, but as it stands, the song sounds like nothing more than an uncharacteristically sparky Franz Ferdinand demo. Given the traditional 15-to-20-year cycle of pop culture nostalgia, the time is indeed coming for a '90s revival, but half measures like You Took a Scythe Home won't get the job done.

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