By Jason Grishkoff | November 9th, 2009
Be warned: this isn’t the newest, cutting-edge music. It is, however, some of the best. I haven’t written about Foals on Indie Shuffle yet, but I can say that hands down, this is easily one of my top three favorite albums to have come out of 2008. Not everyone will like it, but I have consistently found myself playing it on an almost-daily basis, whether it be at work or while riding the Metro. Simply put: this album stands up to all my standards.
One could easily draw the comparison to Bloc Party while listening to the the Foals’ first major release, Antidotes. And not the new Bloc Party that has driven themselves into the ground. Nope, this is like the good old stuff. And what’s more, they’ve done it all themselves. While the Oxford group had originally enlisted TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek to mix the album, they decided that his use of reverb was a little too much for their liking. Taking the reins themselves, they produced a punctuated and sharp sound featuring just the right amount of ambient background noise to keep the rigidity in check.
If some of the UK press have seized on “math rock” as a way to describe the largely 4/4 Foals it’s less because they fit the genre and more that their best tracks sound like they were plotted on grid paper: oblique instrumental vectors crossing, rotating and transforming. In concert videos the guitarists face each other, instruments high and tight against their chests, reflecting one another on an invisible y-axis, shutting the audience out. The stances fit the songwriting: Foals are a band who offer their listeners little in the way of graspable emotion or explanation, but sometimes make up for that with momentum and intrigue – Pitchfork