Foster the People, 'Torches' (StarTime International/Columbia)

7
Torches
Critical Mass
Release Date: May 23, 2011
Label: StarTime International/Columbia

by Barry Walters

The latest psych-pop upstarts to make a grab for MGMT's discarded headbands, this Los Angeles trio announce themselves as major players with "Pumped Up Kicks," a deceptively mellow ode to a latchkey loner primed to go Columbine. Their debut full-length proves that viral hit wasn't a fluke, as locomotive live beats and star-crossed guitars spar with perpetually pulsating synths. Leader Mark Foster's falsetto sounds too micro-MNGD, at times, but his tenacious hooks make up for what his band lacks in originality.

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