Album Review; Foster The People – ’Torches’

Foster The People
’Torches’
Columbia records www.columbiarecords.com/
7.5/10

Comparisons fail when attempting to describe the sound of the LA based three piece, on first listen the album is bright and comfortable, second listen, heck, by the end of the first chorus of the single, track 2 on ‘Torches’, you have identified a darker, slightly twisted underbelly courtesy of the lyrics. Can I get away with just describing this as intriguing, wonderfully album with creeping dark realities – probably not. But with just one or two lines (hope I have heard it right) "All the other kids with the pumped up kids, you better run, better run, outrun my girl / All the other kids with the pumped up kids you better run, better run, kids, faster than my bullet" It’s not gangster in any way, just catchy, a great choice for a single.

Guess I will start with a small negative. The production on ‘Torches’ from Paul Epworth (Florence And The Machine / Friendly Fires) is on the whole very good, but not every track sparkles; ‘Waste’ comes alive in the chorus, still trying to get my head around the verses it’s not the lyrics, its the twang of LA club land, which sort of feels out of place, just as ‘Call It What You Want’ the music for me, gets in the way; both songs pale when heard on a beach on the North East coast of England, No UV, no bass heavy PA, no strobe lights, just daylight, sunshine and the odd seagull or two.

‘Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls)’ comes from the same school as ‘Pumped Up Kids’ and both shine so bright. But with ‘Helena Beat’, ‘Houdini’, and last track ‘Warrant’ all deserving of attention -  that represents half of the album which I will be playing for the rest of the year, at least. This is Foster The People’s debut album, on this shoeing it will not be their last; this is a very good start.

Judge for yourself they are playing the following festivals, Latitude, Lovebox and Bestival this year; Throw in their John Peel Stage appearance at Glastonbury, there should be a few thousand with first-hand knowledge of Foster The People.
www.fosterthepeople.com/home/

Steve Janes

The song that got so many hooked – the ‘Pumped Up kids’ single from ‘Torches’