Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Video: Foals, 'Olympic Airways', post-Skinscore

A nice summery video from Foals, the best popular math-rock band of 2008 and one of my records of the year with Antidotes. The sound seems (intentionally?) muffled at first, but it's a beautifully shot video of one of the most thrilling, trilling quiet-ish songs on the album, and a great display of youth shenanigans. Which brings me to the point that, after their performance of 'Hummer' on the popular TV show Skins which gained them a large and youthful fanbase, they proved to be a tremendously interesting and worthy post-punk band. Antidotes is a crystalline, energetic post-rock album, filled with sweet hooks and a pulsing beat that keeps it going through eleven tracks of desultory experimentation. And no guitar chords.


Anyway, I'm sooo over Skins... At first, I thought getting rid of all the old characters mightn't be too bad an idea, given that the show isn't Saved By The Bell and youth is a transient phase, but now it seems that the new cast is allowing them to regress the central attitude and vision of the show. Parts of the second series were actually really classy television, and the first season had novelty and daring behind its shock! hedonism! aspects - this season appears to have neither quality.

The trailer looks exciting enough; of course, neither of the two previous elaborately shot sequences was meant to bear more than a figurative resemblance to the events of the series itself. So in this case, it's what the creators of Street Wars would have you believe the average Friday night out in Britain is like. Dubiously aged drinkers in a stereotypical English pub suddenly turn to ransacking the place, beginning with lighting distress flares indoors. The opening sequence of the series - "this day has potential. It's pregnant" - introduces: a cocky skater kid who cheats death and serious traffic accidents; a semi-Chav-like guy who drinks lager in the morning; and a semi-autistic nerd who counts calories. Eventually, Harry Enfield gets nutted in the face. Oh dear.

Nobody expects Skins to be realistic, but we do expect the comedy to have a point. So far, this series seems as aimless as the tabloid idea of drunken teens it was supposed to lampoon. Nevertheless, I'll probably still watch it - the first episode at least - to see if the jokes or the characters get any better.

Series 3 trailer (featuring TV on the Radio, 'Halfway Home')

Episode 1, part 1 (featuring Fucked Up, 'Son the Father')


Anonymous said...

Antidoes is indeed a great album, but their b-sides are even better.

gabbagabbahey said...

really? I have the 7" singles for 'Cassius', 'Red Socks Pugie' and 'Balloons' (I should get 'Olympic Airways' soon) but, bearing in mind there are multiple versions of each, I've never been particularly into the b-sides. Too electro or remix-y or something for my taste.

Anonymous said...

Nor I, but my brother sent me a compilation of all their b-sides last week and I was seriously impressed: they remind me of a hetero version of Q and not U. Then again, I pretty much played Antidotes to death when I first got it so I may just have been seduced by the novelty factor. Either way, they're a damn fine band.

cretin said...

I know I'm way behind on this, but I just listened to Antidotes for the first time today, and I must say that I am quite impressed. extremely catchy indie pop with a strong sense of instrumental creativity makes for some good listenings.