Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wind is in my heart, 10 April 2008
This review is from: Antidotes [Cd Album] (Audio CD)
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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jan 2009 15:22:43 GMT
it's Foals not THE Foals :)
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