For Fans Of
The opening track on a Foals record is always the best one for some reason. ‘Prelude’, the first song on the band’s third album, ‘Holy Fire,’ sets the tone nicely with its driving groove, heavy handed drums and atmospheric guitar noodles. What follows is possibly the most accomplished and cohesive Foals record to date.
The album is energetic but relaxed, and the necessary time is taken to create landscapes within the songs with relatively simple techniques. Take the record’s first single ‘Inhaler’ for example, built around a catchy delayed guitar riff, the song slowly builds to a wall-of-sound like chorus and huge distorted bass section, only to gently pull back into the original groove.
The mood changes drastically for the second single ‘My Number’, to an indie dance track with light hearted pop-like synths that make this the clear "radio song" of the record. The original demos for this record were produced by Jono Ma, who had previously remixed songs for the band, and had a heavy influence on the use of synthesisers and electronics in these songs, this may explain why there seems to be such a focus on individual parts on this album, almost as if, when de-constructed, it would be a remixers dream.
While it is nice to hear the band get a little heavy and angry in sections, the softer parts of the record shine the most, like ‘Late Night’, a song that shows off some of the intricacies in Yannis Philippakis’ voice, while the rest of the band provide a bass driven, synth laced surrounding. The guitars and synths are not overly present in the remainder of the record, the bass and drums parts being the clear stand-outs in these songs as they control the record’s dynamics, linking these songs together perfectly.
‘Providence’ brings out a little bit of funk rock before the album closes with its most experimental songs, the percussion heavy ‘Stepson’ and the synth and vocal tango, ‘Moon’.
It will take a few listens to discover everything this record has to offer more than anything, but ‘Holy Fire’ will eventually become most Foals fan’s favourite album. The experimental electronic sections are easily the most exciting as they have set a new tone and range of possibilities for a band that could have easily become quite stale and boring, luckily, this shouldn’t be an issue.
3. My Number
4. Bad Habit
6. Late Night
7. Out of the Woods
8. Milk & Black Spiders