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Foals, ‘Total Life Forever’ (Sub Pop)

Barry Walters // May 10, 2010

Most British bands get better as they get catchier. Not Foals. This quintet’s strong suit is flailing like ten arms on a single synchronized body. The slower, more sincere follow-up to their tense, ultra-tight debut often minimizes beats and maximizes melody. But Foals aren’t particularly personable songwriters or singers: Contrast the sub-Bloc Party verses and chorus of “After Glow” with the midsection where they flit about like fireflies getting frisky in a bonfire. Here’s a case where the motion matters more than the meat.