A band that perhaps command less of an introduction, more of a championing, Oxford math rockers Foals burst from beneath the radar in 2008 with their anthemic and indie charged debut Antidotes which included the impressive ‘Olympic Airways‘ and rock gem ‘Cassius‘ which firmly pulled Foals from the house party circuit and propelled them into the spotlight.
After a string of successful singles and a top 5 debut album, the band gained a rapidly expanding fan base who eagerly awaited their second LP. I have a huge amount of respect for Foals, as after the resounding success of their first album, rather than creating Antidotes 2.0, they matured in terms of their producing and songwriting and released the sublime Total Life Forever.
This album is masterful. It defined a large part of my college years and when things began to spiral I could play this diverse and detailed album and drift away. You become lost in the oriental waves of ‘This Orient‘, and you empathise with the desperate ‘Blue Blood‘. ‘Spanish Sahara‘ will remain one of the tracks of the last decade. Yannis’ gritty vocal and spanning synth creates six minutes of masterful and thought provoking art rock, whilst the bridge will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand and salute. This spectacular LP earned the band a nomination for the prestigious Mercury Prize Award.
So five years later, the band have grown dramatically and travelled miles from their alt punk roots to add to an impressive discography with the extraordinary Holy Fire. From the first moody guitar riffs of ‘Inhaler‘ and once again we’re back to the dark, smoky house parties as Yannis screams ‘I can’t get enough space’. This is their most well rounded and finished LP to date, whether you’re dancing to the summer vibes of ‘My Number‘ or having a one mash mosh to the aggressive and anthemic ‘Providence‘. The band’s most experimental, and dare I say best track to date is ‘Moon‘, a warped and obscure dark number, which requires you to sit alone with bass heavy headphones and simply vibe. Truly gripping stuff.
The band’s live show is also a spectacle, honing their skills on the circuit for many years, they now have a setlist of stadium sized rock which no venue will be able to contain. Foals have an incredibly loyal fan base, supported by a sound that is constantly improving. They are turning into an iconic band and it is incredibly exciting to watch their progression.