Newcomers to the alternative rock world Foster the People released their first full length album this week, and although they are new, Torches has a groundbreaking sound that makes it seem as though they have been at it much longer.
Just like others that are directly related to their sound, such as MGMT and Passion Pit, the band was making noise in the alt-rock world before their debut was even released with the song “Pumped Up Kicks,” which reached the Billboard Alternative charts at number 2. In the same way, the other two bands had smash hits that topped the charts even before the release of their albums. However, the amazing smash-hit singles were followed by sub-par first albums, filled with monotonous hipster-geared alternative rock.
This is where the similarity ends between these bands and Foster the People. The anticipation for an album built from “Pumped Up Kicks” was certainly followed up with a 10-track success, and absolutely no generic hipster monotony.
The album starts off with a bang with “Helena Beat,” which is a very unique electro-rock song with a very upbeat sound similar to that of Passion Pit. The song is brilliantly catchy and keeps your interest.
Starting off the album with a bang is a standard idea for an electro-alternative rock band, and usually, the biggest problem for many bands in the genre is following up the initial hype. However, Foster the People have found a way to stay consistent on the album, and rather than being a one-hit or even a few-hit band, this album is full of tracks that have the potential to have great success in all areas of the rock world, and maybe in the pop/mainstream world.
One example of this is “Houdini,” a compellingly catchy track that shows just how much of an evolved sound this band is capable of making. The song sounds much like an MGMT hit, but much more refined.
There really isn’t a slow track on the album at all. Everything about Torches is incredibly upbeat, but in a way that is unique with each track. This is unique because they have some tracks that sound like much of what comes out of the electro-alternative rock spectrum, using intense thumping bass drums and a ton of synth, but other tracks feature more guitar and rock in a unique way.
The track “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)” is the perfect example of this; it has a combination of electro-alt music and a very upbeat surf rock sound. The song jams like nothing else on the album, and is easily one of the best tracks.
“Miss You” is another excellently crafted track and is easily another album best. It has a very spacey sound similar to bands like MGMT and Beach House, but features a catchy sound with a piercing bass drum that makes the track almost sound like a White Rabbits track.
Foster the People are going to be huge, and rightly so. Torches is just the reinvented sound of the alternative scene, and is easily one of the best albums to come out in both the genre and in rock thus far in 2011.