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Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'm Back! Foster the People - Torches

Hate to see the monster they are after
Sorry for the break from posting but I have been on the road for work and didn't have time to post. So I will welcome myself back with a review of the debut album from the band I am seeing tonight, Foster the People. I'll do a review of the show as well, which will hopefully get posted tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure there is no way you haven't heard the first single from this trio from Los Angeles, "Pumped Up Kicks." The song was actually featured on their self-titled EP that was released in January and also featured "Helena Beat" and "Houdini." All 3 songs are on their debut LP, Torches that was released a few weeks ago.

Mark Foster (vocals, keyboards, piano, synthesizer, guitar, programming, percussion) formed the band with some friends back in 2009 after working predominantly solo, writing jingles, and a brief stint in a metal band. The influences for this crew are all over the places.  You can tell the jingle background with the catchiness of most songs on Torches. Although I will admit I don't get where the quasi-creepy childrenish and chipmunkish laughter/noises in the background of "Don't Stop (Color On The Walls)" comes from but it seems to fit and I dig it.

Most reviews so far that I have read can only complain about the lack of depth in the lyrics or that they don't what the band is trying to be. Some complain that the new tracks to Torches that weren't on the EP from January have such a different sound. Are they trying to be MGMT? Are they trying to be so and so? They are Foster the People and that's who they are trying to be. They are an Indie Pop band with influences all over the place and they do a solid job portraying that to my ears. Most of us prefer our fun summery pop songs to not be all deep and make you think. It's the summer! We need tunes to let loose, kick up our dancing shoes, and just have a good time.

A couple of standout songs for me that go the supposed different route from "Pumped Up Kicks" are "Waste"  and "I Would Do Anything For You." I suppose both are indie pop love songs with a catchiness that goes along with the sweetness and simplicity of the lyrics like "Yeah when the monsters they won't go and your windows don't close, I'll pretend to see what you see" in "Waste." Luckily, "I Would Do Anything For You" sounds nothing like the 80's/90's classics with similar names by our old friends Meatloaf and Bryan Adams. The chorus features some oooo la's and if this one picks up some airplay it should be a mix-tape standout for all those summer loves of 2011.

You can check out both songs below (since you've already heard "Pumped Up Kicks" so many times)

Above is live version of "Waste" that's not quite acoustic but is a mellower and stripped down version

Here is the album version of "I Would Do Anything For You"

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