Foals – Holy Fire

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After a two year absence, Foals have finally triumphed greater than ever with their eagerly awaited third album, ‘Holy Fire’, and boy, is it a heavy triumph. The third installment travels deeper than ever into the soul of the Oxford-quintet, making a brief stop at 2010’s ‘Total Life Forever’, whilst almost completely bypassing quirky math-pop debut album, ‘Antidotes’.

‘Holy Fire’ sparks a new chapter for Foals and it doesn’t waste time on letting us know. As the entrance of ‘Prelude’ creeps up on you forcing you beneath the core of the band, it is hard not to get carried away with the expectation that this is Foals finest hour. Just when you think you’re deep enough, you are plunged into the familiar ‘Inhaler’, which leaves you gasping for air, only to be relived again by the bouncy, My Number, which is sure to please even some of the ‘mainstream’ contingents. Whilst ‘Bad Habit’ may appear a bit light-headed, Yannis’ echo of, ‘I made my mistakes’, creates a sense of love loss which leads smoothly into the twinkling light of ‘Everytime’. Here we begin to understand what the front-man meant by the album having a ‘swampier’ feel as it plummets in and out of grungy guitars before an uplifting feeling of jubilation.

The album appears to be carefully structured, as tracks seem to go hand in hand. ‘Out of the Woods’ hops to and fro, between enchanted harps and ‘George of the Jungle’ style drums. This feeling of enchantment and being embraced in nature continue to be present in ‘Milk and Black Spiders’ which is as intriguing as it’s title suggests. Another seamless pairing comes in the form of ‘Stepson’ and ‘Moon’ which mellow the tone of the album. Yannis’ voice in ‘Moon’ suggests a peaceful satisfaction with the world around him, similar to a lullaby, which contrasts from his intense screams in ‘Inhaler’. In between these feast of clusters comes ‘Providence’ which is so raw it almost rips the days of 2008 ‘Antidotes’ to shreds, whilst ‘Late Night’, which is to be the third single from the album, builds up to a funky riff from the front-man and is reminiscent of ‘Total Life Forever”s ‘Blue Blood’.

Thankfully for all the die-hard fans, Foals have not strayed too far from the herd but have matured and have emerged from the chaotic indie-pop class of 2008. With their third installment, they have made themselves more accessible, and now they’ve found their identity, they’re stamping it everywhere they go. Watch out 2013, this belongs to Foals.

Rating: 8/10

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