Paperhouse: On Foals

There comes a time in every boy’s life when he becomes a man. For some, it is when they lose their virginity. For others, it is their first drink or their first fight. For others still (hint: Carnegie Mellon students), it is running their first program. For me, however, it was when I first heard Foals.

Foals is an indie rock band from England. The core members of the band started their musical careers in a small math rock group based in Oxford, but they disbanded and created the band Foals in 2005. Moving away from hard math rock, a very rhythmically complex genre, and into a more math-inspired indie rock feel, the band released its first album in 2008, titled Antidotes. It was this album that turned me into a man.

I don’t remember exactly how I came upon the album, but it was good enough that I actually went out and bought a physical copy. Never before had I found something that challenged me musically and intrigued me as much as Foals did. So when its second album, Total Life Forever, was announced in 2010, I had to preorder it. Total Life Forevercontinued with the band’s departure from math rock into a much more indie (some would say accessible) sound, but it remained uniquely identifiable as Foals.

The band’s new single, “Inhaler,” dropped last Monday. Once again, Foals moves even further away from math rock and Antidotes. Put simply, “Inhaler” is less math, more muscle. The album, called Holy Fire, comes out in February, and you can bet your plaid pantaloons that I’ll be preordering it as well. Foals isn’t just the funkiest, most fun-loving band out there. Foals has the musical genius that bands strive for years to emulate, and it does something that very few other bands can do: hange its sound, and remain just as good as it was in the first place — if not better.

(Originally published in The Tartan)

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