Foster The People is an interesting group formed in California with band members Mark Foster, Cubbie Frank and Mark Pontius. Their sound stands unique against several thousand or more bands clamoring for recognition.
What makes this band so interesting is the group's song selection covering a variety of topics from high school shootouts to love all dipped in Mark's quirky vocal tones. "Helena Beat" is rhythmic bounce layered in synths and plenty of pop appeal, it's an overall feel good tune.
A lot of times, you'll notice with their music that you hear the words second and the instrumentation first.
From the first start of "Helena Beat", you are caught by the drums priming the stage for a sonic orgy full of acid-drenched synths and good time vibes. Once the intro reaches optimal performance, Mark saunters in with a high-pitched croon "Sometimes life, it takes you by the hand" , as he becomes the balance for the sonic delight. It's interesting when you hear the acoustic version of this song versus this electrically-charged topper, it seems that they are almost two different songs. Either way, I think "Helena Beat" is a great choice for kicking off their album, Torches.
When a lot of bands are opting for a grittier sound to blast rock stations, these guys have taken a different road. A winding road that allows them freedom some musicians will never know, for this aspect they get respect from us over here at Unhinged Reviews. You can tell from the skill in their music that these "People" have enough talent to make just about any music they want and they chose original. FTP gets 5 points for that in my book, to stand alone when it's so much easier to fit in and become another cog in the wheel. Individuality, isn't that what we should all strive for?
"I never knew if I could face myself to change"- Foster The People
If you know a little about Mark's history with drug abuse, one could say that he put a smidge of his recovery in this song. Facing ourselves, our triumphs and failures is something that a lot of folks are terrified to even try. The reason being is we don't want to acknowledge that "We are not the best at.." or '"We're our own worst enemy", but accepting responsibility is a great step towards recovery. Now, it doesn't have to be recovery in drugs per-say, but you know life in general. Go look in the mirror and see if the decisions you are currently making are leading you to where you want to be.
It should always be a refreshing encounter when someone holds a mirror up for us, especially during those times when we have lost control of our own hands. This assist can come in the form of a song such as "Helena Beat" or a good friend pulling us aside and giving us the low-down truth. Maybe that's the reason a lot of Foster's songs are popular because we can all identify with some of the emotions and experiences that are described in their music. I enjoy and identify with a lot of songs from Torches such as "Love" and the viral "Pumped Up Kicks". Which songs are your favorites?
Foster The People is a young group, both in age and music history, but they are off to a good start. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more from them as they gain new life experiences and mature as a group. Let's just hope that they don't fall victim to the money squabbles and hollowness that have destroyed so many promising bands before them.
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