Indie band experiments with dance and rock

By Kevin Bartelt

For some, underappreciated bands are open-ended and easy to spot. For me, underappreciated bands are very specific moments in time.

Generally, these instances occur when a friend unintentionally plays a song that begs the question, “Why have I never heard this before?” Bands heard by some but should be heard by all are illuminated in this week’s “Dim Spotlight.”

Foals is an indie, dance-rock quintet from Oxford, England. The creative collaboration of guitars, mathematical beats and dynamic vocals make Foals the perfect band to enjoy this summer.

The group’s first album, “Antidotes,” was released in 2008 with much success. The album hit No. 3 on the UK Album charts.

“Cassius” is a great track to illustrate Foals’ consistent energy. The song begins with the drummer pounding the snare on counts two and four and a quick, high-pitched guitar riff. During the chorus the drums switch to a sweet upbeat disco beat. In addition, the speedy guitar riffs and vocals remind me of another great rock band, Franz Ferdinand. Another impressive song on this album is “Red Socks Pugie.” Drummer Jack Bevan flaunts his scientific, Radiohead-like beat in this relaxed track.

“Total Life Forever” shows an experimental phase of the group. The album is very ambiguous and open-ended. The sophomore album is not as aggressive as “Antidotes” but shows listeners a new side of Foals. Unfortunately, this album turned some fans away from Foals. A few good tracks on this album include “Blue Blood,” “Total Life Forever” and “Black Gold.”

The third and most recent album by Foals is “Holy Fire.” The group applied what worked in “Antidotes” and what it was aiming for in “Total Life Forever” and made some great songs. My favorite track is “My Number” because of its well-layered guitar riffs.

Foals’ use of instruments really raises the bar of indie rock. I highly recommend checking out this great band.