- I've been sensing a bit of hostility directed towards Brisbane's Founds by the online cognoscenti holed up in that blogosphere of theirs. Personally I don't think Founds are my absolute favourite band. Their mixture of soaring post-rock with indie-folk and sugary indie-pop, amplified by their super-sweet vocalist Kirstie, isn't the most nuanced thing you'll hear all year. It feels a little naive, even twee, perhaps their youth shining through. I think, however, they have more going on than some people give them credit for. It's not just that they won The Unearthed competition at last year's Big Sound, played a number of high-profile supports and festival slots where I'm guessing a bunch of similarly fresh-faced kids were very pleased with what they heard and those same kids, incidentally, will quite be immune to a couple of bad blog reviews. On a critical level too, though, the very fact that they bring together post-rock, indie-folk and indie-pop is worth a little love. From the title of their debut record, Hadean, which is also the name of the broiling maelstrom that was the earth when it was first spun out of roiling galactic dust, you can tell that they're emphasising the epic qualities of their music. Hadean is, in fact, a concept album revelling in the themes of raw matter, swirling and crashing together to become the primordial substance of the planet. It's easy to hear that in the sweeping sounds of the vocals, strings, guitar, intermeshing above the thundering of the drums in songs titled Earthlike, Vessels, Avalanches and Caves. Not so sure about the track Gypsy Horse, where exactly does that seedy creature fit in between the crushing seismic forces and the cold of space? It's the poppiest song on the album by a sweet mile, but still manages to build to a great, echoing finish, so it doesn't seem too out of place. The production here is vibrant, kinda perfect, which some people have taken as a sign of inauthenticity; meh. To me it's not either here or there, the fight, if you're gonna pick one, is with the mastery of Founds' craft. I think there's genuine scope for growth there. Folks have said that Founds' influences are 'obvious', which is a bit of a snide reference to Mogwai or Sigur Ros. It's sort of true, but no more so than of any other post-rock band. I was trying to think of one - maybe New York's pop-post-rockers Mice Parade? - but nothing really fits. Give Founds their due, they don't really sound exactly like anyone else. The perfect production and the imperfect musicianship notwithstanding this is an interesting mix of indie-pop, folk and post-rock: Founds have something genuine to offer.
- Chris Cobcroft.