• WEDNESDAY, APRIL 09, 2008

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    And now for a bit more proof that flashy, English kiddos clinging to guitars just can’t seem to resist the urge to disco punk their days away…this time from chirpy, Oxford based band Foals. On their debut disc Antidotes (Sub Pop), Foals continue Britain’s never ending new rave obsession, rolling through a rather athletic, 53 minute set. It’s high energy and ultimately likeable; the perfect kind of urban soundtrack for setting your day to day ways throughout the city of your choice to. Just don’t expect to hear anything particularity new out of Foal’s molecular make up. “Red Socks Pugie” and “Electric Bloom” immediately bring to mind the wide open synthetics and pitchy vocal yelps of both Bloc Party and their so-very-serious-singer Kele Okereke. Lead Foal Yannis Philippakis, however, seems a slightly less sober sort of front man. After all, he did pen opener “The French Open” for his favorite tennis player, Andy Roddick (someone Philippakis admits to being more obsessed with than any musician…go figure).

    Where Foals drive their own stake into the land lay in just how little these gents use to craft Antidotes’ danceable ditties. Nary a guitar chord punctuate songs like “Balloons” and “Hummer”. Instead, guitarists Philippakis and Jimmy Smith work their spider fingers in more minimalist ways. Taking scenic sounding routes ‘round their instruments, Foals’ commitment to the upper frets is so stead fast, one might as well snap a foot off the neck of their guitars. Equally able bodied bassist Walter Gervers, keyboardist Edwin Congreave, and drummer Jack Bevan round out Foals’ sound, and occasional blasts from filthy, haphazard horns provide a dash of added color. The result is a slick sounding album of considerable contrasts. On the low end, Antidotes is necessarily thickset and locked in. Yet buzzing somewhere over the top – like sonic swarms of insects – lay a more mischievous side to Foals. – David Pitz

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