Foals – Holy Fire review
Buy: Holy Fire
With their second album Total Life Forever, Foals cast off their ‘math-rock’ and ‘dance-punk’ tags in favour of a more epic and textured sound. They’ve now taken that even further with Holy Fire, and delivered an early contender for album of the year in the process.
From the electrifying lead single ’Inhaler’ to the infectiously slinky funk of ‘My Number’ and the cold devastation of album closer ’Moon’, Holy Fire is an album by a band in complete control of their sound.
In the past, singer Yannis Philippakis has been accused of over-elaborating his lyrics and tying songs up in metaphorical knots. On Holy Fire though, he sticks to the more universal themes of love, loss, friendship etc… to streamlined and devastating effect. On ’Everytime’ his lyrical maturity is beautifully frank and understated – “I want you and need you to be okay” – while his simple refrain of “Stay with me” on the brilliant ’Late Night’ is as powerful and emotional as he’s ever been.
What stands out most while listening to Holy Fire is the sheer scale of it. Most of the tracks sound massive and there’s a definite feel that Foals are aiming to play this in arenas, as well as very high up on festival bills. ’Everytime’ is a beefed up and more layered version of their early ‘dance-punk’ aesthetic, while ’Milk & Black Spiders’ and ’Providence’ both boast huge outro’s designed to slay late-night festival crowds.
Best of all is ’Late Night’, an almost perfectly crafted and composed heart-tugger which has Yannis in philosophical mood – “I’m the last cowboy in this town… I was once lost, but now I’m truly found” – before ratcheting up the tension and exploding into a massive chorus. It’s brilliant, basically, and deserves to be played on a big stage. A high-profile Glastonbury slot, maybe?
With Holy Fire, Foals have made the first move to become THE band of 2013, and on this evidence it will take something very special to better them.
Holy Fire is out on 11 February. Preorder it below: