Formed by Yannis Philippakis (vocals, guitar), Jack Bevan (drums), Jimmy Smith (guitar) and Edwin Congreave (keyboard, bass), they were founded in 2005 by former member Andrew Mears (along with Walter Gervers (bass) who left amicably in 2018) and had a really frenetic, Math Rock inspired sound. It remained that way until around 2010, when Total Life Forever came, showing a complete new direction in their music, much more Alternative guided (even Yannis' vocals were different from the yelped style of old). If this was good or bad, opinions diverge.
As of 2019, they have released six albums:
- Antidotes (2008)
- Total Life Forever (2010)
- Holy Fire (2013)
- What Went Down (2015)
- Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 (2019)
- Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 (2019)
Their music contains examples of:
- Break Up Song: "After Glow".
- "Inhaler" also sounds like one.
- Careful with That Axe: "Inhaler", in the chorus.
- Same would apply to "What Went Down", "Snake Oil" and "Black Bull"
- Dance Sensation: An apparent attempt at one is present at the end of the "Inhaler" music video.
- Darker and Edgier: Total Life Forever marked a change in sound and image; it was more mature than its predecessor Antidotes. While the new direction disappointed some who were expecting another math rock album, the song "Spanish Sahara", which is about suicide, became extremely popular and helped bring in new fans.
- Cue Holy Fire and you have a video featuring a topless woman, and the incredibly NSFW/NSFL video for "Late Night" has scenes of suicide, explicit sex and a rather graphic birth... oh, by the way, Yannis, the main singer, is bleeding at the end, and the actor who pretended to kill himself almost died for real.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Not only is "The French Open" sung partially in French, it's also the opening track to the Antidotes album.
- Gratuitous French: Again, in "The French Open".
- Growing Up Sucks: "On the Luna"
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: The beginning of "Blue Blood".
- Long-Runner Line-up: Type 2. The band as a five-piece lasted 12 years from 2006 (Mears' departure) to 2018 (Gervers' departure).
- Long Title: "Look At My Furrows Of Worry", "Try This On Your Piano", "Im Done with the World (& Its Done with Me)".
- Lyrical Dissonance: In "After Glow":Get out, and go and find everyone who cared for youThey, won't be there to see you tomorrowGet out, don't forget everything you cared forFor it, won't be nothing more tomorrow
- "In Degrees" is one of their most dance-friendly tunes, but the lyrics are about how technology is causing crumbling personal relationships and climate change.
- New Sound Album: Total Life Forever.
- Holy Fire was even more different. It is hard not to notice how far they've come.
- Subdued Section: Inverted with "Sunday", which is a dreamy psychedelic song about climate change only to swap to a Dance-Punk-style bridge with very urgent-sounding lyrics.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Most of the songs from their Math Rock era.