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Taking the best of post-punk, new wave, and pop as inspiration, Sunderland's Futureheads were among the best of the U.K.'s "angular" movement, which also included Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. The band began as a trio of vocalist/guitarist Barry Hyde, bassist Jaff, and drummer Pete Brewis. Hyde and Brewis were tutors at a lottery-funded organization called the Sunderland City Detached Youth Project, which aimed to get kids off the street by having them play music instead. The band — whose members were still in their teens themselves — also used the building as a practice space, along with other area groups. The rest of the Futureheads' lineup was also culled from the Sunderland City Detached Youth Project: vocalist/guitarist Ross Millard and Hyde's little brother Dave, who eventually took over drum duty from Brewis. The band released its debut single in late 2002, and followed it up with two more singles in 2003, 123 Nul and First Day, both of which were issued by the Fantastic Plastic label. 679 stepped up to release the band's self-titled full-length in mid-2004.
That fall, The Futureheads was released in the U.S., coinciding with the band's support slot on Franz Ferdinand's North American tour. The Futureheads spent most of 2005 touring, including dates supporting Foo Fighters, Oasis, and Pixies, though they returned to the studio long enough to record the single Area, which was released in the U.K. that fall and as an EP in the U.S. the following year. The Futureheads' second album, News and Tributes, arrived in summer 2006 and featured a bigger, glossier sound and more complex songwriting. The band released This Is Not the World on its own Nul Records imprint in 2008. Two years later, The Chaos arrived with a slightly more ambitious approach, and in 2012 the band released Rant, a completely a cappella album including reworkings of older songs as well as instrument-free covers of Kelis and the Black Eyed Peas.