Music » Critics' Picks

Foals

8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street.

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Foals flitted out of Oxford, England, in 2008 with "Cassius," a moment of tightly choreographed spasticity that invited comparisons to Bloc Party and Vampire Weekend, with which Foals shares an ivory-tower image with foppish, often yipping vocals, awkward-cool demeanor and a penchant for hyped-up Afrobeats. The quintet, signed to Sub Pop in the United States, returned in 2010 with its second album, Total Life Forever. Foals hasn't mellowed, but its sound has deepened into atmospheric electro-funk. On songs like "Blue Blood," Yannis Philippakis trades his earlier bark for the unhinged heft of Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchinson. "Miami" is a lover's plea with a sticky groove, and ubiquitous single "Spanish Sahara" is a thing of such rising beauty you'll forget you've stopped dancing, at least for a minute.

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