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Blake Solomon 08/13/08 09:04 AM

Foals - Antidotes
 
FoalsAntidotes
Record Label: Sub Pop Records
Release Date: March 24, 2008


Sometimes I just feel compelled to write. Seems pretty narcissistic, right? “Maybe if I write this review about this band, someone out there will pick it up and connect,” I might think to myself. When, in reality, it’s just another opportunity to see my name in print, to see if I can actually put a sentence together. It’s not actually about the music anymore. Bands are just the crutch I lean (quite heavily) against. They are only the subject matter. The real star here is my award-winning insight into the world around us. At what number of written pieces did this jaded outlook become my life? When did the fun die? Who cares, because the joy is most definitely back and it’s back because of a band named Foals. It’s back because of a poptacular/reggae/post punk-influenced album named Antidotes. So now I’m going to write about it and you’re going to love it as much as I do. Such is the power of BLAKE ABSOLUTEPUNK.NET FOALS!

My critical brethren have been fairly divided when it comes to Antidotes. And to be honest, this album has needed time to sit and find itself within me. By mixing the likes of Bloc Party (dance party pt. 1), Danananakroyd (mostly vocally), The Futureheads (organization is key) and This Town Needs Guns (dance party pt. 2), Foals inherently require extra-long attention spans. Also, the band’s international flavor scared me because I hate culture and everything attached to it. Opener “The French Open” grooves the album into gear with a bouncy bass line and burgeoning horns. The lightly technical riff introduces us to the tickling prowess of Yannis Philippakis and Jimmy Smith, as they are both indie wonders. Shouted vocals (that are tolerable, even for you old folks) surround the listener in English and French. This is a dance song, for sure, but only if you can keep it calm, cool and collected out there. “Cassius” features ominous horn blowing and a faster pace. Philippakis’ delivery changes again and his high pitch keeps the blood pumping throughout.

Even though this is wholly Foals’ effort, one name that keeps coming up is producer Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio fame). He was named NME’s top person of the future or some shit. Which doesn’t mean anything because I think NME is actually written by a sentient computer, but to the computer’s credit, Sitek does a masterful job with Antidotes. The horns sit in the perfect place behind the rock instruments and Philippakis’ voice stings with the same intensity of an electric guitar (especially on frantically drummed single “Balloons”).

Perhaps Antidotes’ complexity makes it so appealing. “Olympic Airways” hits melodic highs with hum-worthy guitars and veiled lyrical passages. Repetitions and elongations of the word “Disappear” will no doubt be lodged in your brain and Philippakis tones his voice down to eventually become engulfed by warbling, atmospheric guitars. Somehow a word like sparse would still do this song justice; cramming without being claustrophobic is Foals’ greatest strength. “Two Steps, Twice” also manages this formula, although it is much more punk oriented and considerably louder. You see the magic yet? Songs with similar goals still sound nothing alike. Antidotes is a house with countless hidden passages (see: the alarming electronics on closer “Tron” or the bass solo intertwined with dirty European dance club beats on “Electric Bloom”). Keep looking and you’ll keep finding more.


Recommended If You Like: Bloc Party, The Futureheads, transplanted against your will, Dananananakroyd, saying yes to everything


Clap Clap Clapwww.myspace.com/foals

Blake Solomon 08/13/08 09:06 AM

I really, really hate the album art for this. Creeps me out.

hockeyguitar99 08/13/08 09:12 AM

I think I'll check this out, I've been on the border with this album, but I think you pushed me over the edge blake.

b4u4get 08/13/08 09:38 AM

Antidotes is an amazing album, it made me a big fan of this band by taking only one listen. I hope this review will convince people to check this out.

Maxwell 08/13/08 09:40 AM

Cassius its over
Cassius away
Cassius an accident....

So addicting.

darkmartheight 08/13/08 09:51 AM

I love this cd. in my opinion that score should be an 87%.

Until The Bombs 08/13/08 09:54 AM

Really solid album.

Scott Irvine 08/13/08 10:04 AM

I wish I could write a review like Blake Solomon.

theripped0ne 08/13/08 10:27 AM

yo homey

thank you so much for reviewing this album. i picked up this cd the day it came out and have passed it on to everyone i know who appreciates intricate, forward thinking music. anddd one hell of a dance beat. this is one of the best of 2008. throw this record on at a party and see the kids go bonkers.
happens every time :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6yim...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtYe5icYqAY

here's some vids i took when they played at maxwell's in hoboken a while back.
catch this band when they come to the US againnnnn!

Gregory Robson 08/13/08 10:33 AM

Scary album art indeed.
Great band, and a good album.

Btw, the line "I think NME is actually written by a sentient computer," had me laughing for a good five minutes. Genius.

Shooter McGavin 08/13/08 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CatchThePhoenix (Post 16942841)
Scary album art indeed.
Great band, and a good album.

Btw, the line "I think NME is actually written by a sentient computer," had me laughing for a good five minutes. Genius.


Hahaha, I gave a hearty chuckle as well. Good to have some Blake reviews again.

jkaminallen 08/13/08 10:50 AM

Much better than an 83%... =\

One of the best cds of the year.

hockeyguitar99 08/13/08 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott Irvine (Post 16939091)
I wish I could write a review like Blake Solomon.


I think everyone does. Dude is fucking amazing.

kaityangst 08/13/08 11:30 AM

I love this album, its incredible.

TooLateF0rRoses 08/13/08 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott Irvine (Post 16939091)
I wish I could write a review like Blake Solomon.


I wish you could write like him too!

haha, just kidding.

dan5090 08/13/08 11:54 AM

I love foals!
superb album

liar23 08/13/08 12:19 PM

I actually like this album. good review

mushroom 08/13/08 12:59 PM

"Also, the band’s international flavor scared me because I hate culture and everything attached to it."

care to explain that quote a little further?

anyway a friend of mine played this band when we were playing cards and they seemed pretty okay, i've got the chance to watch them at a festival next weekend, anyone know if they're good live?

Plunk 08/13/08 01:22 PM

Quote:

He was named NME’s top person of the future or some shit. Which doesn’t mean anything because I think NME is actually written by a sentient computer

True...

WakingTheMisery 08/13/08 01:33 PM

I grew out of this album in a week. :shrug:

theDrivingSnow 08/13/08 01:38 PM

Love this album.

Vertebraille 08/13/08 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mushroom (Post 16961321)
anyone know if they're good live?


They're brilliant live.

Listen to some live stuff here;
http://foalsband.com/songs.php

The London Calling set is a belter

dretti 08/13/08 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vertebraille (Post 16969881)
They're brilliant live.

Listen to some live stuff here;
http://foalsband.com/songs.php

The London Calling set is a belter


They are great live. I just saw them recently and after it I got into the album a little more.

Blake Solomon 08/13/08 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mushroom (Post 16961321)
"Also, the band’s international flavor scared me because I hate culture and everything attached to it."

care to explain that quote a little further?

anyway a friend of mine played this band when we were playing cards and they seemed pretty okay, i've got the chance to watch them at a festival next weekend, anyone know if they're good live?



culture usually implies learning. Learning usually implies reading or like doing math problems or something. I hate reading and I hate learning. But most of all I hate math.

Gustavatron. 08/13/08 03:38 PM

Also, the band’s international flavor scared me because I hate culture and everything attached to it.

I laughed at that. Not like a pity laugh, though, because I hate culture too. :-d

I love this album, a lot, but for the first time ever I'm not going to bitch about your score. I think it's a very nice review and the score definitely fits, I think.

Blakebear 08/13/08 03:59 PM

Freaking fantastic live...

they were my second or third favorite set at Lolla...

crazy good

Arry 08/13/08 04:12 PM

Great review. This album is very addictive. My favorites are Two Steps Twice, Balloons, and Cassius.

Foals' music videos are very weird, the lead singer does some weird shit with his hands, but interesting nonetheless.

refusedchick 08/13/08 05:51 PM

awesome band live - saw them with maps & atlases was an incredible show

songydarko 08/13/08 05:53 PM

I absolutely love this album.

mushroom 08/14/08 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blake Solomon (Post 16977762)
culture usually implies learning. Learning usually implies reading or like doing math problems or something. I hate reading and I hate learning. But most of all I hate math.


makes sense seen as they are oxford (i think) dropouts

i thought you meant english culture :shrug:, silly me

Blake Solomon 08/15/08 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott Irvine (Post 16939091)
I wish I could write a review like Blake Solomon.



you shut your mouth! xoxo

Ryzenfall 08/17/08 02:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blake Solomon (Post 16932291)
I really, really hate the album art for this. Creeps me out.


That cover has always given me the jibblies. Is the rest of the artwork like that?

Good review. Funny riyl. (if you have on a nice shirt) Nice shirt.

Blake Solomon 08/17/08 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryzenfall (Post 17323221)
That cover has always given me the jibblies. Is the rest of the artwork like that?

Good review. Funny riyl. (if you have on a nice shirt) Nice shirt.



I haven't seen the actual cd. It's en route from Amazon as we speak!

updownleftright 10/07/08 04:01 AM

one of my favorite ablums of '08 easily. would anyone recommend some bands like them?

Melkor 10/09/08 12:45 AM

Good review. I loved this album when it came out, especially Balloons, which is amazing in a club, but for some reason it hasn't grown the way I thought it would on me.

I don't know how I would rate it in hindsight but yeah, no real urge to listen to this album at all anymore.

johnh5304 12/05/08 06:59 AM

It's a pretty fun album.

reesa 05/26/09 11:11 AM

i can't believe some of you think the album art is creepy lol. i fell in love with it. especially knowing it was a foal's album. they're so fun. it took me a while to get use to the kinda music coz i was listening to paramore and all time low and getting really into pop punk shiz then when i heard big big love pt2 and cassius from foals i fell in love so yer. really good album. unique band.