Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Paul's review - The Foals

This week Paul has been listening to the Foals and musing on the state of his existence when he realises what is "the biggest challenge in my life this week"

Band = Foals
Album = Antidotes
Label = Transgressive

When asked if I’d like to review Foals’ Antidotes I had heard Cassius, their lead single, once. It was spiky and rugged, the sound of a sped up Bloc Party on LSD. I thought one listen was all I needed to know a great tune. I was wrong, shockingly wrong.

By the time the album arrived, Cassius had been on the radio a few more times. On second listen it began to grate; on the third I turned the volume down; by the fourth I was lunging for the dial like a man desperately plagued by the fear of hearing the football results that would take the surprise and pleasure out of watching Match of the Day.

It soon emerged that the problem with Cassius, and with Antidotes as a whole, is Foals’ love of repetition. Every line is sang four times; every hook is borrowed from the previous song; every vocal is multitracked and bolstered beyond intimacy or immediacy; every guitar solo employs the same laboured style (jarring guitars picked quickly and seemingly out of time high up the fret board).

Asides from the constant repetition, uninspiring music and lack of dynamics, there are two further problems. Every song is two minutes too long and each song sounds just like the last. The tracks blur into each other, but not in the Sergeant Peppers kind of way. What the sleeve notes call eleven songs is actually one, big, fat mess. Put the components of a Bloc Party record into a blender and you would end up with Antidotes.

Listening to the album from start to finish has been the biggest challenge in my life this week. That probably says a little too much about my life, but nevertheless, it’s not exactly the glowing tribute Foals will want on their record cover.

When Bloc Party released the majestic Silent Alarm it was inevitable that deplorable replicas would be cobbled together by boring bands hoping to heist a bandwagon. But it would have been difficult to predict anything this bad. Be warned: Foals will leave you in need of an antidote.


1 comment:

J Cosm said...

Paul doesn't know good music!