Around five seconds into ‘Try This On Your Piano’, it begins to dawn on you that simplicity definitely isn’t in Foals’ repertoire. It’s tricky to describe their sound – it’s as if they’ve managed to feed several hundred guitar notes into a malfunctioning computer which has then spewed them out entirely at random, but luckily in the same key. It’s a fairly unique noise that seems to be the result of three lightning-fingered guitarists and a hell of a lot of complex arrangement. Unfortunately, for all the lovely six-string dexterity on display, the basic principles of a decent drum sound are shelved in favour of the sound of two toothpicks tapping on a metal bucket. It’s a shame – the drummer’s obviously a nifty player and for a band this frantic and rhythmic, the production could’ve been so satisfyingly beefy rather than slightly limp.
Still, fans of the mind-bending polyrhythmic oddness plied by bands such as Q And Not U will definitely find something to love here. There are also shades of influential 90’s emo youngsters Cap’n Jazz in the yelped vocals and stuttering time signatures. The way the band play off each other and shift tempos is consistently interesting but they do occasionally meander off onto the path of self-indulgence. Second track ‘Look at my Furrows of Worry’ has a slightly more sedate, graceful feel about it. Predominantly instrumental, it features a lovely slow-waltz bridge section with a fuzzy synth sound which could have come straight from a John Carpenter soundtrack. All in all an enjoyable, if strangely exhausting, listen. Maybe a few more forays into minimalism and a swift sacking of their drum engineer might be good for them.