Foals: Antidotes

B+

Foals

Album: Antidotes
Label: Transgressive/Sub Pop

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Foals (hailing, their MySpace page says, from "oXXXford") is a group of formalists, only the form is relatively new: The British band takes cues from recent dance-rock and post-punk revivalism as much as the early-'80s stuff that inspired the revival in the first place. On Foals' debut, Antidotes, it's easier to hear Les Savy Fav or !!! than Gang Of Four or Bush Tetras, but that isn't a negative. Thanks in part to indie super-producer David Andrew Sitek, they've got a vibrant sonic presence, and they write excellent songs. "The French Open" hops from sharp, modified reggae skank to teeth-bared rock, while the 2007 single "Mathletics" (a bonus track here, along with another single, "Hummer") rides a clenched, ingratiating guitar. And Foals even slow it down a little with real conviction: The slow-rise guitars of "Big Big Love (Fig. 2)" make it the album's standout.

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