I missed the very anticipated Foals concert in Paris because my brother was visiting and we had already been to the venue, twice, and it seemed unfair to drag him all the way back once again. So I have had to listen to their debut album Antidote recorded like everyone else who wasn't at their concert.
I read an interview with the group a few weeks ago in which the singer Yannis Philippakis (middle) came across as brooding, arrogant and with a nice little chip on his shoulder that seemed to have formed after years as a social outcast (and possibly the subsequent mockery that was implied). The English press has hailed Foals as the next purveyor of the Brit Pop torch, but if recent torch baring is any indication, it may not be as simple or straightforward as initially thought.
I, for once, agree nearly entirely with Pitchfork's review of the record. I have tried for many weeks to get a sense of how I feel about it and have come to the conclusion that what I feel is nothing. Moreover, I just don't think I get what they are trying to do. The gimmick, if you will, is that they are performing (or inventing) 'math rock'. This term, I don't fully get either. I assume it implies Cartesian constructions and rigorous regularity. I don't know what Pythagoras would have to say about it or if he would understand it any better than I seem to.
I concede that there are some interesting things going on and do not dislike the album. The elements that usually attract me to an album, lyrics, hooks, interesting/catchy intros absent themselves from this rather odd album. Maybe it is just a matter of time and persistence and it will be like the day in calculus class when logarithms just suddenly made sense.
Is music supposed to be this strenuous?