Not since Liverpools finest The Wombats opened their debut album with the track Tales of Girls, Boys and Marsupials have barbershop acapella vocals been attempted in indie. It's hardly surprising - voices alone are often not enough to sustain a crowd, especially the kind of crowd that Futureheads have become accustomed with entertaining. Purveyors of the short, sharp indie riff, Rant is not so much a departure for the Sunderland quartet, more an emigration to a foreign country, but they somehow manage to come out of it with dignity intact.
Whilst their signature burly 'Fog on the Tyne' delivery can get a little grating without the instruments to compliment them, all four member pull their weight with some rather tricky harmonies. Obviously not taking the experience too seriously, their take on The Black Eyed Peas Meet Me Halfway sounds shockingly poignant and sincere for something that was originally penned by Will.I.Am. The song that spawned it all, Kelis's Acapella undergoes a similar makeover, resulting in a chorus that holds a football anthem esque euthoria.
Whilst 'Rant' is not something anyone but a diehard Futureheads fan is likely to revisit often, (it does lose it's novelty a little over 12 tracks) it is certainly a fun little experiment and a charming listen. More importantly, it shows that life in Futureheads camp is as creatively fertile as ever, hopefully meaning that they'll plug the instruments back in soon for a full record.