Foals: iTunes Festival London 2010 EP

Foals successfully translate their complex indie rock into a live setting on this EP.


iTunes Festival London 2010 EP

Label: iTunes
UK Release Date: 2010-07-12
Artist Myspace
Artist website

UK outfit Foals made quite a splash in the blogosphere with their 2008 debut, Antidotes, an album of spastic, rhythm-centric indie rock that gained them more than a few comparisons to similarly minded bands like Bloc Party and Klaxons. Now, having just released their follow-up LP, Total Life Forever, the band is making waves with a sound all their own. These new songs display the band’s dancepunk roots, but Foals have learned how to let their songs breathe. On Total Life Forever, singer/guitarist Yannis Philippakis now sings more often than he shouts, and the band uses their consistently impressive technical chops to create dizzying, multi-faceted anthems.

Call this iTunes Festival EP a victory lap well deserved, then. The EP offers up six live tracks from a recent set in London, culled evenly from Antidotes and Total Life Forever. The latter album’s complex rhythms and song structures had many fans wondering how the band would properly translate this new work into a live setting. The answer, it turns out: quite well. “Total Life Forever” and “Miami” lose some of the intricacies in their guitar work that the studio’s sheen brings to the album versions, but these live recordings replace that crispness with boundless energy and muscle. These songs sound big. “Alabaster", a quieter number, suffers in comparison, its breathy vocals proving difficult for Philippakis to replicate out in the open air.

Antidotes highlights “Balloons” and “Two Steps Twice” hold up extremely well next to the new material, their driving beats and layered hooks both easy reminders of what made people excited about this band in the first place. The EP’s real high point, though, is an extended cut of “Electric Bloom”. Always Antidotes’s best song, Foals pump it to twice its size here, filling it with a kicking-and-screaming force that has drummer Jack Bevan absolutely annihilating his kit. The EP’s a good starting point for people looking to jump on board Foals’s increasingly crowded bandwagon, and it should more than satisfy longtime fans, in the process.





The Kinks and Their Bad-Mannered English Decency

Mark Doyles biography of the Kinks might complement a seminar in British culture. Its tone and research prove its intent to articulate social critique through music for the masses.


ONO Confronts American Racial Oppression with the Incendiary 'Red Summer'

Decades after their initial formation, legendary experimentalists ONO have made an album that's topical, vital, uncomfortable, and cathartic. Red Summer is an essential documentation of the ugliness and oppression of the United States.


Silent Women Filmmakers No Longer So Silent: Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers

The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.


Rush's 'Permanent Waves' Endures with Faultless Commercial Complexity

Forty years later, Rush's ability to strike a nearly perfect balance between mainstream invitingness and exclusory complexity is even more evident and remarkable. The progressive rock classic, Permanent Waves, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.


Drum Machines? Samples? Brendan Benson Gets Contemporary with 'Dear Life'

Powerpop overlord and part-time Raconteur, Brendan Benson, grafts hip-hop beats to guitar pop on his seventh solo album, Dear Life.


'Sell You Everything' Brings to Light Buzzcocks '1991 Demo LP' That Passed Under-the-Radar

Cherry Red Records' new box-set issued in memory of Pete Shelley gathers together the entire post-reunion output of the legendary Buzzcocks. Across the next week, PopMatters explores the set album-by-album. First up is The 1991 Demo LP.


10 Key Tracks From the British Synthpop Boom of 1980

It's 40 years since the first explosion of electronic songs revitalized the UK charts with futuristic subject matter, DIY aesthetics, and occasionally pompous lyrics. To celebrate, here's a chronological list of those Moog-infused tracks of 1980 that had the biggest impact.

Reading Pandemics

Poe, Pandemic, and Underlying Conditions

To read Edgar Allan Poe in the time of pandemic, we need to appreciate a very different aspect of his perspective—not that of a mimetic artist but of the political economist.


'Yours, Jean' Is a Perfect Mixture of Tragedy, Repressed Desire, and Poor Impulse Control

Lee Martin's Yours, Jean is a perfectly balanced and heartbreaking mix of true crime narrative and literary fiction.


The 60 Best Albums of 2007

From tech house to Radiohead and Americana to indie and everything in between, the 60 best albums of 2007 included many of the 2000s' best albums.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Solitude Stands in the Window: Thoreau's 'Walden'

Henry David Thoreau's Walden as a 19th century model for 21st century COVID-19 quarantine.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Will COVID-19 Kill Movie Theaters?

Streaming services and large TV screens have really hurt movie theaters and now the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered multiplexes and arthouses. The author of The Perils of Moviegoing in America, however, is optimistic.

Gary D. Rhodes, Ph.D
Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.