Imagine the Specials mixed with Queen and Gang of Four—singing in thick, working-class English accents like Billy Bragg. Sunderland’s Futureheads are the oddest amalgam of influences. On paper, this shouldn’t work, but songs like “Le Garage” and “Robot” succeed on sheer originality, while “Alms” and “Stupid and Shallow” are both clever and meaningful. To top it off, the band even covers Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love” and sings about American Dadaist/Surrealist photographer and painter Man Ray. Ultra-cool.