The continuing story of Foals is one to tell any band starting out on a journey of discovery with no real idea of where they’re going to end up.
When their self-produced debut release came out just over a year ago, they seemed like a band stuck between a (post)rock and a hard(core dance) place. Back then, Foals looked like a band on a perennial 60-40 split, with the floating member going back and forth dependent on season, sensibility or just plain state of mind.
Fast-forward to summer 2007 and Foals have almost certainly found an identity. Although ‘Mathletics’ isn’t quite the finished article, it is a healthy departure from those early days supporting the likes of Youthmovies around Oxford. It is also pretty much unrecognisable from the recent white-label 12 inch live version, one that now goes for silly money on eBay.
With traces of Bloc Party jerkiness (convenient, given their winter support dates) combined with The Rapture’s dance moves, this is about as exciting a piece of floor-filling pop as you’re likely to hear all year.
Its flipside, ‘Big Big Love’, isn’t half bad either, acting as the lead track’s post-club comedown as chiming guitar loops merge into a stuttering rhythm that eventually grinds to a halt, just in time for bed.
Though they’re not quite the geniuses certain corners of the music press have painted them as, Foals are at last measuring up to the hype that’s come their way this year.
8Dom Gourlay's Score