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4.5 out of 5 stars51
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 2 May 2008
Having first heard Foals a while back, I was instantly drawn to their music. I downloaded a few demos last year before all the hype started and was really impressed.Their use of multiple layers and time signatures leaves the listener slightly confused but ultimately amazed.
The only thing wrong with the album is prodction. The whole point of Foals' music is that it is multi layed and raw, and this album has lost some of that. Seeing them live will really make the listener appreciate them fully. Personally I dont like the use of saxaphone, and many of the songs have changed drastically from the original demos, mainly being mellowed out.

The 2cd version is the better deal, you get live recordings, which show what the main album was getting at, it just couldnt quite get there

Overall a good album for someone that is tired of typical indie and who wants to be absorbed into something very different.
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on 22 October 2010
I love this album. Let's get that out of the way first. I'm not a hype-merchant, I didn't even expect to enjoy the album quite frankly, but it was suggested to me, I listened and I was blown away. The elements on show here are not new in themselves, but the way they are combined and the vim and vigour with which they are performed makes them a breath of fresh air.

So how does it sound then? In a word; lively. That's one of the most striking things about this album, the perpetually clean and clear guitar plays some of the sharpest most upbeat riffs I have ever heard. Whilst being touted as mathcore this music is not amazingly complex or technical, but that really doesn't matter. There's no Johnny Marr behind this with layers of lucious interweaving melodies playing off against each other and making a rich musical tapestry, but again; that doesn't matter.

Whatever it is Foals are doing here it is very captivating. Perhaps it is the simplicity of the songs which makes them so endearing. I should note when I say simplicity that I don't mean Kooks style, I just mean the arrangements aren't overly complex; there's plenty of variety however from skittering electronica to african horn sections to subdued melodies and back to the aforementioned punctuated guitar sound. This is perhaps the best use of varied instrumentation I have heard since Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" (and that's a compliment; if you don't have that album then do yourself a favour and get it).

Vocals then? Nothing outstanding here for my money; just a Southern English man with an accent; sometimes shouty and othertimes more melodic. I don't wish to deride the singer here, the vocals are perfectly adequate and there are some nice melodies in places, I am simply saying that it's nothing amazing.

Lyrics? All very cryptic really; lots of nice evocative imagery and imaginative use of words which I enjoyed but I can't really claim to know what many of the songs are actually about... didn't stop me enjoying the album though and I don't see why it would do for anyone else.

Overall I would recommend this to anyone, even... no, especially Non-Indie fans (as it may convert you). It's lively, upbeat and simplistic. Nice happy music for any occasion :)

Dom x
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on 2 May 2008
Having first heard Foals a while back, I was instantly drawn to their music. I downloaded a few demos last year before all the hype started and was really impressed.Their use of multiple layers and time signatures leaves the listener slightly confused but ultimately amazed.
The only thing wrong with the album is prodction. The whole point of Foals' music is that it is multi layed and raw, and this album has lost some of that. Seeing them live will really make the listener appreciate them fully. Personally I dont like the use of saxaphone, and many of the songs have changed drastically from the original demos, mainly being mellowed out.

The 2cd version is the better deal, you get live recordings, which show what the main album was getting at, it just couldnt quite get there

Overall a good album for someone that is tired of typical indie and who wants to be absorbed into something very different.
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on 19 October 2008
I first heard of Foals through a friend and egged me on to buy their album, the opening of the French Open grabbed my attention, such a classy intro of guitars and the slow build up

My favourite 2 tracks on the album are Cassius and Red Sock Pugie, Cassius opens with plucky guitar and collective vocals, an interesting sound that will grow on you, all the way through the album it changes stance and will then come in with something different, the final track Tron i thought was just going to be an indie album filler, but it again builds up and just gives you that feeling of leaving you wanting more.

Superb debut album and in my current top 20 albums ever.

If you like Foals and are Electro-indie inclined try Late of the Pier
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Here's a minor prediction for the musical year -- the Foals just might be the Next Really Big Thing in indie-rock.

Yeah, someone says that about a fledgling band every year, sometimes more than once. But this little Oxford band has what it takes, and "Antidotes" is a gloriously energetic debut album -- mellow, bright rock'n'roll that makes you dance and bounce, yet has some postrock spaciness, nimble electronics and clever funky twists to keep things interesting. And it actually gets better as it goes on.

It opens on a relatively simple note -- "The French Open," an jazzy-funky little pop intro that periodically erupts into solid dancy rock. "Un peu d'air sur la terre/D'air sur la/D'air sur la/D'air sur la terre!"

With that as the intro, they leap wholeheartedly into the cocky, rollicking "Cassius," with its muscular riffs and confusingly jabby lyrics ("Cassius, it's over! You're second best!"). And with "Red Sock Pugie," we get another catchy indie-rock melody -- but wrapped in a shimmering post-rock blanket, riddled with kettle drums.

And most of the songs that follow linger somewhere between those two styles -- ringing circling pop with convulsing violins, moody rock tunes, fast funky dance music, fast-moving spacey tunes with airy fantastical lyrics, and a shimmering pop anthem in "Big Big Love (Fig. 2)."

The Foals seem to wind down the album with the catchy "Like Swimming," a little instrumental that sounds like eavesdropping on a tropical pool party. Then they yank you back up for the final song "Tron," a dark little rocker with tight, muscular instrumentation and chirruping guitars.

The Foals don't seem satisfied just by making music that makes you dance -- they seem to be striving for something cool yet fun, clever yet not pretentious. And they apparently want a mishmash style -- if you listen carefully, the indie-rock sound is infused with elements of funk, dance, and shimmering hazy spaciness. All this, and it's fun too.

Part of what makes their music so appealing is the versatility -- we've got powerful bouncy riffs, undercurrents of grainy bass, and solid, hollow-sounding drums keeping the music energetic. But they can also make those instruments do some very odd things -- their guitars alone are a sonic circus, chirping or creaking or spiraling around in glittering loops.

And then you get the really out-there stuff -- blares of Afrobeat brass, the occasional kettle drums, shimmers of keyboard, and some pedal guita to, as it's been reported around the Web, "mimic the sound of the solar system." I don't really know what a solar system sounds like, but I presume that's the gloriously spacey, shimmery sound that wafts through most of these songs.

Yannis Philippakis always sounds like he's about to run out of breath, but his flexible voice has enough energy to keep up with the music. And for a beginner band, the Foals have a knack for lyrics, filled with "butcher birds," falling towers, nameless fuels, exploding hearts, and eating clouds to pass the time when you're not fighting vampires. Isn't that great?

The Foals at first sound like just another art-rock band, but these guys have a special knack for effortlessly mixing elaborate cross-genre indie-rock with energetic dance. Keep an eye on these lads.
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on 31 July 2009
Not my usual fare and took a few listens to get into, but will definitely buy the next album aswell. Read the first guy's review for the full-on, I know what I'm talking about, arty sort of stuff. I just liked it. A lot.
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on 7 November 2012
So inventive, cool, and how the instruments / instruments sound and play together in such a funky, swinging, upbeat, offbeat way, it just jives the funk out of me... cant wait to see these live... the bass and drums are just addictive to hear in this band... of course characterized by the selfless guitaring that allows the music to funk its way through to the listener... what more can I say, brilliant lyrics, cool, gentle and timely..... what a great band !!! I am going to see these as many times as I can live !!!
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on 8 April 2008
I just wanna listen and listen and listen to this amazing 46 minute segment of jerky,twitchy,intense funk-rock.
Foals build tracks on millipedes legs of jittering riffs and notes,while the synths lay a solid base of melody and colour to the rantings and yelps of the vocalists.
I'm sure some of this has been done before, the trebly jazzy guitars and the smooth,dextrous basslines seem familiar,but this is a fresh blast of art-pop form 2008 and seems to get better at every listen,superb
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on 25 March 2009
Simply wish to add another five star review for this joyful, inventive, unique and stunning debut album. This is music that challenges, invigorates and never fails to surprise. All in all a premier quality chocolate box of an album...here's hoping that these boys really do make it big.
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on 30 April 2009
I had the pleasure of seeing these guys live before i heard the album. I don't know if that makes me biased, but this is a fantastic album and is best listened to in its entirety. The complexity of the music and its quality are breathtaking. Buy it!!!
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