Foals - Balloons
Tom Blackburn 15/12/2007
They're a shoo-in for British indie's A-list in 2008, but there's just something suspect about Foals. Jerky post-punk beats? Check. Guitars that sound hyperactive but are actually arranged with military precision? Check. Hilarious haircuts? Check.
That said, 'Balloons' isn't bad at all. Taking the meticulousness of Battles and splicing it with Q And Not U's dancefloor-orientated post-hardcore is a good idea in my book, and this is a perfectly fine piece of poppy dance rock that will doubtless go down a storm with the Skins crowd. It's zeitgeisty. It ticks the right boxes. That's its problem.
Foals seem to be suffering from Battles syndrome - they put precision and planning ahead of personality and charisma. This song sounds like the product of a band who've studied recent trends, calculated what the kidz want and ran with it. Despite their protestations to the contrary in interviews, Foals are so scene, so now, it hurts. Even the song's length, just a couple of seconds shy of three minutes, seems too convenient to be spontaneous.
'Balloons' is okay. From what I remember, it's marginally weaker than 'Hummer', though as I write this I'm having trouble what that actually sounded like. Foals are great fun for scenester teenagers, but will they amount to anything truly special? The forthcoming album may well prove me wrong, but on the evidence of the singles so far, probably not.
Watch the video here.