Foals – Antidotes (Review)

14 02 2008

I’m taking a break from taking a break from blogging to post another review, this time of the debut album from Oxford dance-punkers Foals. Almost a year ago they unleashed “Hummer” onto the world and two more singles, an appearance on Skins, loads of gigs, and all kinds of other stuff that a band usually does, their album is finally here. At the time it was announced, omitting their two big singles “Hummer” and “Mathletics” seemed not only gutsy, but also a bit of a bad move. But after listening to this album, it makes sense, because you can’t really see those two songs fitting in with the rest of the material on offer here.

The band themselves said that they excluded the singles from the album because they were songs written earlier and they wanted to get them out there then move on to the album material. Despite that, there is a lot here that looks familiar to a fan that’s been following Foals for a while. Old favourites “The French Open” and “Two Steps Twice” feature, and a re-worked version of the “Mathletics” b-side “Big Big Love” also has a place in the album. Although, among the stuff fans would be well known to fans, there is also brand new songs such as “Electric Bloom”, “Heavy Water”, and “Tron”.

The album begins with fan favourite “The French Open” which sounds a little watered down compared to the demo version, but that is instantly forgotten when the next song and upcoming single “Cassius” runs into your ears like a bad-ass mofo. With lyrics referencing the fall of Rome and a chorus that doesn’t sound that catchy when you read the lyrics, but will stay in your head for a considerably long time, it’s already set to become one of the singles of the year. The pace is brought down a bit with “Red Sock Pugie” a sweet love song with afrobeat drums and a wonderful fade out.

“Olympic Airways”, another old favourite, sounds incredibly different to the demo version. Verses are moved around, taken out, and added, and the vocals are considerably slower, it all ends up being for the better though as it is vastly improved from the demo and is more likely to stay in your head. “Electric Bloom” carries the same style as the previous tracks, with more afrobeat drum and a delightfully simple but sweet chorus, 5 minutes of pure bliss. The second side starts with “Balloons”, which may sound a bit boring if you’ve heard it enough already (though it is better then the demo) and is followed by “Heavy Water”of which the first half is made up of a short call to arms about vampires and whatnot, and the second a wonderful instrumental showcasing the various talents of the various players of instruments (good wording there, don’t you agree?).

“Two Steps Twice” is unfortunately, compared to the demo, a mess. To the normal listener it will sound completely random and will make no sense at all. The reworked “Big Big Love” is more, dare I say, “epic” sounding then the original, with the percussion brought down a bit and more soundscapes added. The album finally ends with a short interlude of classic Foals guitar and handclaps before collapsing into the closing “Tron”, which has all the elements Foals have that make them great, along with a slow build-up with brilliant bass and drums into a final triumphant blast of the chorus. Foals may not improve on re-recordings of their demos so much, but they have made an album that wasn’t expected by people wanting an album of Hummer’s and the part of the fanbase made up of people who only see them as “dat band dat were on Skins, like” and showed them all what they can really do. Good for them.

8/10

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5 responses

5 03 2008
Anonymous

you cannot write. what purpose does this serve? for whom? please, do THINK. a mastery of unadventurous but accurate syntactical construction does not cover a sincere lack of unique thought.

5 03 2008
David

I know I can’t write. It’s just a good way to pass the time, because you see, I don’t have much of a life. That review and in fact the whole damn blog isn’t made to have a purpose. I just made it because I was bored (as if the title didn’t give enough information). It’s not much use telling me to stop whatever because if I want to I’m going to do it again. So there.

By the way, you don’t happen to be Josh, do you?

5 03 2008
Another Stupid Comment Highlight « I Was Bored So I Made A Blog

[…] this one comes from the review of Foals’s Antidotes Review I posted a while ago. It comes from an Anonymous gentlemen who gives me this […]

18 03 2008
Josh

POWN3D!

31 03 2008
An3

Good review mate! Couldn’t agree more.

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