foals total life forever
  • TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2010

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Foals have been one of those really interesting bands to watch. Their first release in 2008 had them really pushing the math rock inclinations of bands like Maps & Atlases or fellow UK band This Town Needs Guns. On their new album, Total Life Forever the guitars are a lot less angular and there is a lot more emphasis on the dance rock facets of the group's dynamic.

The album opens with "Blue Blood" which sounds like a really expansive version of a Wolf Parade track. The rest of the first half of the album stomps and shakes in a similar fashion, but unfortunately without much in the way of hooks. The title track "Total Life Forever" is intriguing, but it doesn't add much to the indie rock framing it's wrapped in.

Foals have described in interviews that Total Life Forever in their opinion sounds like the dream of an eagle dying. Which maybe is their way of saying they heard a lot of what Oingo Boingo did in the 80's and thought they'd try their hands at new wave pop.

There are tracks that stick out though like "Black Gold" or "This Orient" which both seemed to elevate passed cut and dry dance pop. "This Orient" is easily the most true to the sound Foals sketched out on This Antidote with perpetual motion machine keyboard/guitar work and the chorus thanks to some really razor-sharp reverb soars like the whole album should have.

Essentially, Total Life Forever isn't a bad album but it's a bit of a missed opportunity. They could have followed their blueprints from This Antidote and gone on to craft something that instead of following other bands set a standard to be followed. There are traces of that inventive attitude on Total Life Forever but it's pushed under a lot of business as usual indie rock. -Ryan Broderick

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MP3: "Spanish Sahara" (Total Life Forever)
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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