MTV Presents Foals
Plus support on 25th of August at Dingwalls, London
MTV PRESENTS | Foals plus support
Under 18s Show (Strictly 14-18 years – Proof of age required on door)
WHEN | Wednesday, 25th August 2010
WHERE | Dingwalls, Camden, London
PRICE | £10
MTV and Gift Music have teamed up to put on a series of exclusive live shows featuring the best established and emerging talent around.
The story of Foals’ second album could not be told without the victories won by the first. One of the strangest, most exotic creatures to have seen the upper realm of the UK album charts this young century (debuting at # 3 upon release), Antidotes was a special album. In the idiot clamour of retro guitars, its keen sense of dare and future marked the Oxford quintet out as a band keen to establish their own context: hurtling along on incessant, acrobatic fret-play and cymbals hissing with the bliss of exertion. It won them attention, and the chance to evolve in a space of their own.
Two years on from that impressive introduction, a choice has been made – rather than contort Antidotes’ lissom guitars into ever more elaborate patterns, Total Life Forever is the sound of a band settling into and surveying the decay of old protocols. The restless, woven guitar tattoos of their debut haunt its successor, remembered only in fragments. The pace is less breakneck. Foals have relaxed the formulas and diagrams used to build their early identity and stretch out, instead, in the sad, quiet chaos of rot.
The result is a sound as persuasive emotionally as Antidotes was physically. Whereas that album constantly reinforced its own presence by filling the air with yelping and polyrhythm, tracks on TLF such as disarming opener ‘Blue Blood’, ‘2 Trees’ and the astonishing ‘Black Gold’ are happier to leave gaps for the listener to explore in mind’s ear and eye. Foals strip their sound back and turn themselves inside out searching for that invisible human thing.
There’s a privacy to Total Life Forever that would’ve been impossible to recreate elsewhere, witnessed in their singer’s throat’s newfound vulnerability – perhaps the most startling symptom of Foals’ evolution. Listen to the intro of emotional centre-piece ‘Spanish Sahara’ and you’ll hear a man prepared to spell out thoughts, feelings and an anxiety about the future that Antidotes’ twitchy, staccato guitars could only hint at. As such, Total Life Forever feels like a honing in on something. A purification
Singing rather than shouting, emotional as well as functional, Foals’ soul-search reveals new antidotes found in infinite, internal spaces rather than carved violently upon the air – Total Life Forever feels more the work of artists than artisans. It’s a triumph that they’ve managed to remain a band of progress and propulsion while investigating that vast, dark space lurking inside themselves.