Foals

January 18th, 2008: As seen on SPIN (PDF)

Who? A quintet of Oxford art school dropouts spawned from the technical side of dance rock, Foals is Yannis Phillippakis (vocals/guitar), Edwin Congreave (keyboards), Walter Gervers (bass), Jimmy Smith (guitar) and Jack Bevan (drums). In the year and half that they’ve existed, these house party scenesters have charted a handful of singles in the U.K., been invited to summer ragers in Ibiza, and impressed TV on the Radio’s David Sitek enough to produce their forthcoming debut LP. Teaser single “Balloons” drops Dec. 10 via the London-based Transgressive label.

What’s the Deal? Like a British version of the Rapture, Foals prefer their guitars tight in the upper chest, so they can fire off frenetic, dance floor uzi riffs so synonymous with the new-rave, Klaxons scene. Name-checking obscure German techno influences like Monolake’s Plumbicon and the very non-obscure pioneer of minimalism, composer Steve Reich, Foals maps things out in a very mathematical way; “Mathletics” being the most obvious example, complete with crisp, bleepy guitar exchanges that break down like steps on a ladder, and precise call and response punk yelps on the mic. As for the David Sitek collaboration, expect all that calculation to get thunderous — thickened vocals, horn sections, and mountains of reverb. All they need now is a trademark dance shimmy.

Fun Fact: Singer Yannis Philippakis is a tennis fanatic and American Grand Slam pro Andy Roddick is his favorite player. The lyrics for “The French Open” are based on Roddick’s advert with Lacoste.

Now Hear This:
Foals – “Balloons”

On the Web:
Foals at MySpace
wearefoals.com

Talk: Foals or just a wily, British-phonetic spelling of fools?

Tags: