Foals (from left) – Edwin Congreave, Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Jimmy Smith, Walter Gerver.
After teasing Aussie fans with sneak peeks of new material while aboard the Big Day Out bandwagon, UK band Foals have released their third studio album Holy Fire.
Foals were born from the embers of other Oxford-based bands such as The Edmund Fitzgerald and Youthmovies in 2005. Their debut album Antidotes was released in 2008 with the help of producer and TV on the Radio guitarist Dave Sitek to rapturous reviews from the UK music bigwigs.
Boasting singles such as Cassius and Red Socks Pugie, Antidotes managed to cause a stir even on the other side of the Atlantic, reaching #28 on the Top Heatseekers charts.
After touring Antidotes globally throughout 2008/09, Foals’ infectious energy during their live shows earned them even more critical acclaim, leaving many anxiously waiting for a follow-up album.
Their sophomore effort, Total Life Forever, was released in 2010 and demonstrated that Foals were not just a one-trick pony. The album earned them a nomination for the UK’s prestigious Mercury Prize for best album release, only to be pipped at the post by the then exploding The xx.
Again they toured the album and played sold-out shows in Sydney and Melbourne as well as featuring in the 2011 Coachella line-up.
It wasn’t until seeing them perform at the 2011 Coachella festival via a live YouTube stream that I realised just how good a band they are. Their performance had my eyes fixed on the screen. Subconsciously rocking on my chair with adrenalin pumping through my veins, I realised I was witnessing something special.
I familiarised myself with their back-catalogue to the point that my Antidotes and Total Life Forever CDs would no longer play which meant only one thing – I needed new material. And this week I got my wish.
Holy Fire was released on Monday and is yet to disappear from my iPod screen. I can’t applaud this collections of songs enough. Foals have found the unique balance between opening themselves to a more diverse audience by tweaking their sound, while staying true to their core intricate rhythms that will leave previous fans thoroughly satisfied.
A wide range of sounds is showcased on the album, from first single Inhaler, a gritty, teeth-clenching, fist-pumping banger of a rock song, to the second single My Number, which is nothing less than a great indie pop tune.
With tropical beats, soulful vocals and their signature intricate rhythms, Foals simply have all the bases covered.
This album will have longevity and will no doubt feature in end-of-year music polls around the world. This is a truly brilliant release from a truly brilliant band. – Lewis Collins
Music Mark: 9.99999/10
Standout tracks: Inhaler, My Number, Milk & Black Spiders and Out Of The Woods