Foals have released ‘Rain’ ahead of it’s full release on Record Store Day, which seems a bit of a disincentive to anyone going out to get an unheard track so far (But they’ll only go and upload it anyway, so it kind of makes sense). So now that that’s dealt with, it’s fair enough to see why Foals didn’t throw this onto What Went Down from last year. They promised an ‘aggressive’ record and didn’t deliver, and ‘Rain’ wouldn’t have helped that claim any further. Anyone looking for an ‘Inhaler’ or a ‘What Went Down’ won’t find it here (it’s a B-Side after all) and instead there’s a shimmery synth-pop song that plods along harmlessly with glistening glitches in the background and a guitar that could be a synth or a synth that could be a guitar. It doesn’t pick up, it’s kind of anticlimactic.
On the bright side, frontman Yannis Philippakis’ vocals are pretty much spot on throughout, taking more of a ballad-man form of having a minimalistic backdrop of instrumentation and putting his voice to the test instead. He sings ‘No I’ll never sleep again’ with his voice tearing up on the back end of ‘again’ to very good effect. It’s just a shame that the shimmery instrumentation is too lifeless to try and compete with his vocals. Whatever, it’s a Record Store Day release and people are going to buy it because it’s got the soul of John Lennon ingrained in the grooves of the vinyl or something (That’s not actually happening, we’d just like to clarify).