Foals "Balloons"

Foals 'Balloons'
Foals are a band that have been on my "to do list” for quite some time now. A friend just caught them on the weekend at CMJ in New York and texted me "HOLY FUCKING SHIT. amazing,” not to my surprise. Wrapping up post-punk in its most rigid package, these five from Oxford and Brighton are as tight as a duck’s arse, as the saying goes. Out of the new wave that began back in around 2000 or so with acts like Liars, the Rapture, and so on, Foals make a case for being the most astute out of any band with a Gang of Four hang-up. Much like that legendary band, Foals are all fucking business; there’s no room for cute catch phrases, pretentious wanking or obvious attempts to get playlisted on commercial radio. The focus is centred squarely on rhythmic tension and building it with an upsurge that never loses its clout. That they just so happen to know a thing or two about melody, well, that’s all the more reason to blog like mad about them. They’ve come a long way since last year’s debut single "Try This On Your Piano.” This year’s pair of singles "Hummer” and "Mathletics” (especially the former) have put the band at the forefront of the UK’s indie scene and ushered them into the New York studio of TV On the Radio’s David Sitek. "Balloons” is their third single for the brilliant Transgressive label (out next month), and shows immediate signs of breaking these guys into the consciousness of a much bigger market. From the opening guitar riffs Foals demonstrate the same kind of calculative precision that’s made Battles one of the year’s most talked about bands. The guitars climb up and down with stressed out staccato, the sharp, danceable polyrhythms are fiercely meticulous, and the seemingly bothered singer Yannis Philippakis even invites some help to boost the chant-heavy chorus into a celebration.

Despite their appearance as a serious-as-shit art band, Foals showed their lighter side (just) by guesting on Skins, a British teen drama on Channel 4, for an episode that climaxes with a drug and drink-fuelled make-out session in an chaperone-less club. See below for the clip.

Foals "Balloons” (Live in Brooklyn)

Foals on Skins