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    Antidotes 8 ( 2008 )
    The French Open / Cassius / Red Socks Pugie / Olympic Airways / Electric Bloom / Balloons / Heavy Water / Two Steps, Twice / Big Big Love (Fig.2) / Like Swimming / Tron

    Another in the long-line of NME sponsered bands that fail, despite NME hype, to break to any wider audience than existing, and/or former readers, of that once fine magazine. I have to say though what I wasn't expecting from The Foals was 'The French Open', a dubby thing that sounds like it's come from the 1980 post-punk new-wave scene. I like it a lot, even though the track ultimately doesn't amount to anything. At least it's interesting and that's half the battle won already, surely? Elsewhere such as on 'Olympic Airways', Foals decide to sound a bit like Bloc Party, albeit a bass heavy version of Bloc Party. 'Heavy Water' proves Foals again to be better than they are often described ( even by me ) with some interesting brass sections popping up quite unexpectedly. The Foals have ideas you see, not always their own and not always original ideas but at least they appear to be trying. I like that aspect of any band, you know, one that tries to make a bit of effort. Anyway, such speculation and silliness pales when faced with a track like 'Balloons', something a little lyrically darker and musically ambitious. The Foals appear to have potential to be in this for the long-term. The vocals suddenly remind me of early Robert Smith and the music mixes in electro elements with that heavy dubby bass.

    'Red Six Pugie' is typical of The Foals. Electro elements, percussive drums ( what other kind are there? Well, these drums avoid too many rock cliches ), guitars that scratch, if that makes sense - all topped off with those bass lines, upfront and acting as the lead melody. 'Antidotes' therefore is an inventive modern album that somehow avoids the pitfalls of the likes of Klaxxons, Kasabian, etc. It manages to avoid too many things we've heard before. Sure, they sound like bed-fellows of Bloc Party and there's nothing here particularly new but there is a burning intelligence to the music and the arrangements. I didn't expect to like the album basically, but it's managed to surprise me in the very best way. Occasionally, it's good to be proved wrong. NME all is forgiven? Well, stop looking like a comic and more like a newspaper and I might buy you again. A cover feature on Foals would do nicely for a start.

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    Readers Comments

    t.peacock bristol
    a fair rating for the album, it's decent but a bit samey in parts... The French Open is awesome though! I had the chance to see them at Glastonbury this year and they actually blew me away by how good they were- much better than most of the NME endorsed stuff... :)

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    this page last updated 15/08/08

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