Concert preview: Foals and Surfer Blood revisit alt-rock history exquisitely

By Columbus Alive
From the May 9, 2013 edition

Foals is the kind of rock band that starts its album with a sweeping, cinematic four-minute prelude, the kind of group they supposedly doesn’t exist anymore. Employing Flood and Alan Moulder, the team that produced U2’s Pop and Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie, the new Holy Fire splits the difference, shooting for the moon through a digital display. It’s music that builds and builds from former math-rockers who figured out that arena ambitions still compute.

For now they’re playing rooms the size of Newport Music Hall, where they’ll be joined Wednesday by Surfer Blood, honor students in a slightly different school of alt-rock revivalism. Debut Astro Coast was a fun composite of Weezer, Pavement and Pixies, and judging from lead single “Demon Dance,” which bites both Weezer’s “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” and Pixies’ “Gouge Away,” the new Pythons will mine the same territory just as blatantly. If you can look past the thievery — and frontman John Paul Pitts’ alleged pattern of domestic violence — the pop chops are hard to deny.