RATING: 10/10


It’s an exciting time to be a Foals fan. 2019 has seen the release of not one, but two brilliant albums. ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1’ saw the band marry their early math rock roots with the arena sized anthems the band have become known for, resulting in their strongest release to date. It’s a tough album to follow and means ‘… Part 2’ is hotly anticipated.

Foals have been teasing this record as a much heavier affair, frontman Yannis Philippakis stating, “It’s more of a rock record with a capital ‘R’ – maybe two ‘R’s”. Lead single ‘Black Bull’ confirms this promise. It’s the most relentless the band have ever sounded. Distorted vocals and guitars take the lead as the band plough through the track like a steam train, always sounding like they’re close to coming off the tracks.

“It’s the most relentless the band have ever sounded”

The only flaw that could be found in ‘… Part 1’ was the lack of guitars, but this album see’s the riffs come in abundance. Philippakis and Jimmy Smith work together better than we’ve ever heard before. Their guitar lines intertwine effortlessly, the pair simply sounding like clockwork. This is evident on ‘The Runner’ and ‘Wash Off’, the former featuring the sleaziest riff the band have ever produced, before a mammoth chorus proves the band have not lost their indie pop sensibilities. The latter boasts their math roots with intricate, delayed guitar lines which interweave throughout the track.

‘Like Lighting’ is a bluesy effort built on a strong groove. This is Foals like we’ve never heard them before, the stomping beat sounding more like ‘The White Stripes’. It’s pulled off flawlessly, the song evolving as synths and melodic guitar parts are thrown into the mix. It marks the bands boldness, as when trying out new styles they still manage to pull it off confidently and convincingly.

The second half of the album is much more reflective as the band turn it down a notch. ‘10,000 Feet’ is slow building, dreamy and psychedelic. Overdriven and dark guitar tones still heavily feature, the chorus boasting another massive riff, but it’s done in a much more relaxed way than the start of the album. It shows Foals are not one trick ponies when it comes to heavier music and they have not lost their sight when making an album with depth and conviction.

“flawless from start to finish”

‘Into the Surf’ is the sequel to ‘… Part 1’ interlude ‘Surf’. It’s another sombre, slow paced song which sets itself apart from the rest of the album as piano takes over from the previous onslaught of guitars. It’s gives the listener a breather before they are thrown into the 10-minute prog odyssey of ‘Neptune’.

The closing song is the epic conclusion the two brilliant albums deserve. Around the six-minute mark the song completely breaks down. Little flurries of improvised guitar slowly build until the whole band bring it to a close with a pounding, strong and muscular ending.

Producing an album which is flawless from start to finish is a mean feat, but somehow Foals have managed to do just that, twice, in one year. This really is the strongest the band have ever been and their ability to take risks, experiment with new styles and produce pieces of art which takes the listener on a journey is admirable. If you’ve ever written Foals off as just another indie band then give this album a listen, it might just change your mind.




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