Album Review: Antidotes - Foals

Along with The Friendly Fires, Foals are potentially the most exciting band currently pushing the envelope of the rock / dance crossover, with previous hit 'Hummer' managing to convey the feeling and sound of minimal and glitch-house through rock music.

'Hummer' and Foals' other hit from last year, 'Mathletics', are notable for their absence on Antidotes. In their place we have the more recent 'Balloons' and current single 'Cassius'.

'Cassius' represents a good taster of what is on offer here: the precision of previous efforts is in place, the multitude of details conjuring something that is reminiscent of falling up the stairs in
slow motion. In addition to this and prevalent throughout Antidotes is a new notion of space. The sound is given more room to breath and the brass instruments are given room to bounce through the mix.

Whilst Dave Sitek (of the fantastic TV On The Radio) had his final mix rejected the influence is still clear, not just in the space and reverb but also in the multitude of genres absorbed into one piece. The production work is never less than staggering: 'Red Sock Pugie' and the brief 'Like Swimming' both sounds as though they were recorded underwater and indeed water almost appears to be a theme of the record... Olympic Airways sounds like warm rain.

The mood here is dark, the lyrics shattered like a broken pane of glass. "It's just another hospital" goes the chorus on 'Electric Bloom'. The meaning is unclear though it certainly doesn't sound positive - the music, however, shines through.

Antidotes is a record that strives for more. Foals could easily have churned out another seven tracks and add them to the four singles everybody knows. They didn't do that and the fact that they abandoned two fantastic tracks to make something new and cohesive is a testament
to their ideals - the fact it works is a testament to their abilities.

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