You wouldn't think it, but 2004-2005 is starting to feel like quite a long time ago now, when a wrath of new bands were gracing the scene. These included the likes of The Killers, who have gone on to the arena and Glastonbury headlining mantle, Kaiser Chiefs, who predicted a riot but not their drop in popularity and The Futureheads. The Sunderland four piece were associated with their cover of Kate Bush's 'Hounds of love,' which was their first single off their debut album. This made it to number eight in the UK singles charts.
But after becoming disillusioned with the ins and outs of being on a major record label they have suffered from a case of declining returns due to not having the clout of a major label's backing. However, they are back in 2012 with their fifth studio album, Rant, the follow up to 2010's 'The Chaos' But wait, this is actually an a capella album of R 'n' B covers and some rearrangements of their own material.
Rant begins with a track 'meantime' but it is a cover of Black Eyed Peas' 'Meet me halfway' that really catches you by surprise. It makes you realise that this album's concept isn't as bonkers as you might think at first. You are reminded about how well the vocal play between the members on 'hounds of love' was performed.
Another highlight on Rant is 'A Capella.' An apt cover for this album's concept as the band tackle Kelis' dance tinged hit with plenty of gusto. It is the layering of the band member's voices that help add to the overall quality. Their accents also bring a traditional and quintessentially traditional English element to the arrangements.
If you're ever looking for the ideal definition of a curveball then Rant by The Futureheads is surely it. The question now is what will the band do for the follow up to this album? Will they go back to their own instruments or maybe try some Gregorian chanting. The strange beauty is that after this, it can't be said for sure what The Futureheads will do next. Upon listening it is not as bonkers as when you're first presented with the CD.
The only criticism of Rant would be that a full LP of this may be too much for some listeners.
If they had cut it down into bite size chunks such as EP's it may have helped.
But that is the only criticism of an album that should be regarded as a very welcome addition to The Fututreheads' body of work.