A look at the Oxford bands 5th outing and first part of their new double album
Foals are probably one of the biggest indie rock groups in the UK right now and interestingly one of the last remaining ones from their era. Sadly, The Maccabees and Wild Beasts are no longer with us. Therefore, it has been left to Foals to carry the torch. Their last effort “What Went Down” was a decent enough outing and if I were to review it now I’d probably have given it a 6/10, with the stand out tracks being “What Went Down” and “Mountain At my Gates”. Now, Foals are back and truly in full swing with their brand new album, “Everything Not Save Will be Lost”.
This record is much stronger than their last effort, which, felt a bit all over the place sonically, yet still had some great bangers. This new album is a lot tighter musically and thematically with some great tunes and hooks. The albums lead single “Exits” is a great slow burner with politically charged lyrics taking on Brexit among other issues. It features some great production with the instrumentation sounding raw, giving the dystopian vibes the band are shooting for with the album. Yannis is sounding great as per usual here and the grooves and guitar licks are better than ever.
In fact I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy all of the singles released prior to the album. “On the Luna” feels like Foals changing up their sound a bit, whilst keeping what makes them recognisable. It feels like a cross breed of elements from the first LP “Antidotes” and some of their more recent outings. The same can be said for “Sunday”, which I did a track review for. To avoid retreading old ground this is another great track off the album, again this tune feels like it takes elements both old and new from the Foals catalogue, blending them together to create the perfect Foals song. Another slow burner, eventually building up to a cataclysm of fast guitar playing and drumming, repetitive lyrics before the track suddenly plummets back into the main chorus.
The non-single tracks here are excellent too, Foals feel more experimental than ever here and it shows on the psychedelic trip down “Syrups”. This track has some really nice hooks, it builds nicely as the song progressives and explodes into a blistering hard rock finish . Even the albums opener moonlight is a somewhat psychedelic trip, it certainly gives a taste of what’s to come later in the album. Opens with blasts of almost operatic yet distant, cloud like vocals before a nice floaty guitar pattern comes in and Yannis’s iconic voice comes into introduce us.
“White Onions” is a nice hard rock banger, giving off “What Went Down” vibes, its a nice change of pace after the slower but still excellent “Exits”. With hot headed Yannis nigh on shouting the lyrics and these crunching guitar riffs, it’s great stuff. “In Degrees” is a nice dancey, disco rock banger, it has these nice synths playing throughout the track, with really nice guitar licks. Its a good blend of techno and rock, it really has “Antidotes” vibes, throwing back to the dancey feel of their debut. “Cafe D’Athens” is probably their most experimental work yet, it’s another spacey, psychedelic track incorporating some art rock vibes. It actually feels quite Radioheady which is a great thing in my books. The album closes with the slow, but, poignant ballad “I’m Done with the World (& It’s Done With Me)” that finishes with these soaring instrumentals, its a nice closer to the fast and ferocious album.
Overall, Foals have really outdone themselves with this record. They have incorporated everything they have learnt from their prior albums pulling together all the elements for this dystopian feeling, fast and aggressive album. They have progressed here into experimental, art rock territory. Their most thematically driven album and probably their most concise record since their debut. A must listen, where not a single track misses a beat. Its not quite a 10 but it sure comes close. I look forward to hearing Part 2 when it comes out later this year.