Antidotes (Bonus Track Version)
Antidotes, the full length debut by England’s Foals, starts off with great promise, the first track building to a rollicking blend of plucked and strummed strings, clacking drums, and a shouted chorus of voices singing about ... um, the French Open? We’re not really sure, but the song is incredibly catchy and bubbly and just plain fun. First single “Cassius” keeps the party moving, with its manic, herky-jerky pace and faint whiff of ska horns and skiffling rhythms. As Antidotes unfolds, the tautly constructed songs and rigorous guitar and percussive parts carve a serious groove. Singer (and guitarist) Yannis Philippakis has a wonderfully plaintive voice, and while the band clearly has roots in the English post-punk milieu, Foals feel right at home in the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah camp of contemporary indie rock. There is real sparkle and snap here, and to the band’s credit, they remixed the entire album after the first mix proved to be too reverb-drenched for their tastes. That said, the curious thing is that some of their trademarks make for a somewhat homogeneous listening experience; remembering individual tracks after listening takes some work.