Foals: Antidotes


Just when you the thought the dance-rock thing had hit overkill, Foals tries to one-up the angular, jangly guitar movement.  The Oxford quintet lists Steve Reich, Public Image Ltd and Afrobeat as key influences, but Gang of Four ring hard on their Sub Pop debut – Antidotes.

Lead singer Yannis Philippakis continually sounds like he’s struggling for his breath, but lucky for him his backing mates deliver the kinetic beats and catchy rhythms.  Horn bursts, funky flares, dub and spacey keyboard flourishes fill Antidotes, but it’s Foals’ relentless dance beats that are most obvious.  Where the Oxford quintet can effortlessly drive through spacey effects (“Olympic Airways”), they deliver the pop goods (“"Big Big Love (Fig. 2)."   Although their brash flavor is sometimes annoying in a snooty art school way, like in the rollicking "Cassius," there is enough catchy indie rock layered in (“"Red Sock Pugie”), making Foals more than just another energetic dance rock band.

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