Release Date: Apr 8, 2008
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Although Oxford, England's Foals didn't release their debut full-length, Antidotes, until the spring of 2008, they had already begun to make quite a name for themselves, thanks to the British singles "Hummer" and "Mathletics," and successful dates in the U.S. the preceding fall; meaning, of course, that the anticipation for the record had plenty of time to grow. Fortunately, Antidotes is able to live up to the hype.
It would be a valiant attempt to prohibit myself from using the words “next,” “big,” and “thing,” in this review, but that’s not going to happen. As a buzzed-about young British band, Foals takes its place in that long line of acts whose debut albums have arrived on these shores with great expectations. Throw in the fact that Antidotes was produced by TV on the Radio’s David Sitek, which gives Foals a ready-made measure of stateside legitimacy, and you’ve got a veritable hype storm brewing.
Oxford's Foals have toured with and often been compared to Bloc Party, and I'd wanted to dismiss them as a slightly weirder Bloc Party or Futureheads until I saw this live video, in which the band plays dead serious post-punk while singer Yannis Phillipakis bangs a floor tom and jerks around like a young David Byrne. The trouble with Antidotes, though, is the same as one of the big problems with Bloc Party's Silent Alarm: it's so relentlessly clean-sounding. More than anything else, Antidotes is about the considerable amount of time it must have taken to make it; its eccentricities have mostly been scrubbed away.