Music Recommendation: Foals

13 10 2010


Somebody call the hipster police!


[Ed: I promise you, Foals is in this article. I just felt like sharing some thoughts on my musical tastes in general as well. My future music recs won’t have mini-biographies in them, I promise… maybe]

A few days ago, I recently met up with an old elementary school friend that I hadn’t seen in a while. We reminisced, had a few chuckles, and commented on how much kids can change in a few years. A specific comment was how I went from a “funny” T-shirt wearing Zeppelin fan to a guy just starting to wear plaid and talk about bands like Grizzly Bear or Arcade Fire. I’m no psychologist, but I believe it has something to do with never wanting to be static with anything you do. That’s why, like with my clothes and mannerisms, my taste in music has changed so drastically over the years, and it isn’t just me that changed. I’m pretty sure it happens to nearly every teenager around. People who hate reading may want to skip ahead to the videos. When I get on a roll, it’s really hard to stop me.

Like most kids that grew up to have musical tastes like mine, it started with good ol’ classic rock. I would snatch up all of my dad’s old CD’s and play them in my room, and since it was all Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, and Rush, not only was I exposed to good music for the first time in my young life, I also was implanted with the seed of the Devil. At the time, I thought classic rock would be the only music I ever listened to. Bands like Green Day sucked, it was too mainstream for a 4-foot-11 badass like me. Little did I know that I would slowly undergo a transformation that happens to many kids during their teenage years: The transition into hipster music.

It all began in the 7th Grade, when a random encounter with Radiohead’s most popular song, “Creep”, sexed my ears for the first time in my life. As soon as I acquired an Ipod for my 13th birthday, I immediately bought Radiohead’s first three albums. On the bus, during free time in class, at home when I was bored or grounded, Radiohead was literally the only band that played through my speakers, and it was the best music-related thing that ever happened to me.

Back then, I thought I was the hippest kid with the hippest Ipod thanks to Radiohead. They were alternative. The kind of edgy music that gets you chicks with dyed hair and bellybutton rings. It was my first experience with something that could be described as hipster. Little did I know that Radiohead was merely the tip of the iceberg for my journey through obsurish bands…

So, you’re probably wondering what my Radiohead story has to do with the namesake of this article, Foals. Well, it goes back to when I said that my musical trends aren’t based on genre, they’re based on what band I’m in love with. When put into bullet form, one can truly see how most kids transition from classic rock to hipster alternative. Let’s take a gander…

  • Led Zeppelin
  • Def Leppard
  • Cream
  • Pink Floyd
  • Rush
  • Yes
  • Radiohead
  • Weezer
  • Modest Mouse
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Between the Buried and Me
  • Arcade Fire
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Maps and Atlases
  • Foals

Wow, that pretty much sums up the average male teenager’s music timeline, doesn’t it? Classic rock to alternative, with a random loud metal phase in the middle. As you can see, the bullets end with Foals, and that’s why the music recommendation is Foals. Because they are the best damn band that has ever graced God’s green Earth… until something new comes along. So why keep reading my words when you can just listen to awesome music instead? Exactly.


Not convinced yet? Here are more reasons why Foals are more important than your firstborn child.

  • Outside of Jimmy Smith, the members of Foals have some epically hipster names (Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Edwin Congreave, Walter Gervers, and William P. Rudolph-Schartzenheimer. Is it sad that Yannis isn’t the one I made up?)
  • Anything where the drums are always off-beat [Is that right? I can’t believe I’m in band] is automatically awesome.
  • They follow the unwritten rule that if you have keyboard player in a non-prog band, they’re always delegated to playing a few notes here and there, and spazzing the hell out for the rest of the song.
  • Seriously, the dude’s name is Yannis f*cking Philippakis. He’s British guy of Greek-Jewish descent! I bet he can grow a beard in under 5 hours if he tries hard enough.

Finals Thoughts:

Now that I’ve beaten the “let’s make fun of hipsters” horse for all it’s worth (which isn’t that much to begin with), I might as well say that they really aren’t that hipster, right? Basically Foals just play straight-up dance rock with teeny-tiny bits of prog, techno, and math-rock. I don’t know why the hell I’ve gotten so into them, but what’s done is done, and I think my work here is basically done. In short…

You’ll Like Foals If:

  • You’re a fan of bands like Bloc Party, Metronomy, Klaxons, Innerpartsystem, etc.
  • You have a thing for British/Greek/Jewish guys with exceptional facial hair growing skills.
  • You have ever worn plaid, cardigans, or Argyle.

You’ll Dislike Foals If You:

  • Have Bieber Fever
  • Still hold feelings of hatred towards the Brits because of the Revolution
  • Are deaf
  • Are dumb
  • Are blind
  • Play a mean pinball

*laughs, drinks another eighth of scotch, passes out.




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