Foals are a five piece band froBLAH BLAH BLAH THIS ALBUM IS AMAZING (Photo courtesy of foals.co.uk)
If you missed it, Foals released “Inhaler” and “My Number” as appetizers to get the world salivating, but now the main course has arrived. Holy Fire is a meaty stew of exactly what the world has been starving for: more Foals. Their standard recipe includes searing guitar, raw drums and layered rhythms, but the overall flavor is certainly more intense and intentional than their previous albums.
It is not hard to understand what makes Holy Fire a milestone in Foals’ portfolio. For the first time, they have managed to make their mathy rhythms a vehicle for their messages rather than the focus of the songs. Singer Yannis Philippakis and drummer Jack Bevans both have origins in the heavily instrumental math rock group The Edmund Fitzgerald. The unpolished songs from The Edmund Fitzgerald are a pure example of the style that drives Foals.
Foals are slowly lifting the veil off third studio album, Holy Fire. After debuting single “Inhaler” with a full video, the Oxfordians performed a second track on “Later…With Jools Holland.” That song, “My Number,” appeared on the band’s YouTube channel today, and its arguably more infectious that our first taste of Holy Fire, which is out in the U.S. on Feb. 12.
Chorus-driven, with pop rhythms aplomb, “My Number” may be the most upbeat breakup song this side of T. Swift. Leaving behind the sinister feel of “Inhaler,” the second offering has little build, diving straight into feel-good–cathartic?–chanting led by Yannis Philippakis. Holy Fire can’t be this good, can it?
After announcing their third full album, last month, Oxford, England-bred Foals dropped their first single “Inhaler” today on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 Show. Complete with an aggressive video, the cut from Holy Fire is far more confrontational than anything we’ve come to expect out of a fivesome whose infectious math rock caught fire first with Antidotes and, later, Total Life Forever.
Before the release of the five-track EP, Bruxism, UK band Trophy Wife had been basking in the glow of their phenomenal debut single, “Microlite”. Released a year ago, the track is full of delightful melodies and a perfect balance between vocals and instruments. Although a couple other tracks have been released since, it took a larger release to understand what Trophy Wife was capable of.
After Friday’s dazzling displays and painless navigations, we knew the other shoe had to drop on Saturday. No, it wasn’t the volcano of last year, but it might as well have been during the face-melting heat of the afternoon. The sun became the nemesis of Coachella Day Two, turning up the heat to a slow broil for the hungover and clothes-less masses. Brains were scrambled for the festival hump day–one woman “mentally altered on substances” fell off the Ferris wheel–but the day still had its shining moments.
Though expected, the stupefying heat proved an obstacle that some bands couldn’t surmount. Positioned in the unforgiving sunlight, mid-afternoon acts Here We Go Magic and Erykah Badu suffered from low numbers and lethargic crowds. When lines for hydration stations are more dangerous than the gnarliest Gogolo Bordello pit, you know you have a problem. Performers fortunate to be under canopies fared better, wooing staggering festival-goers into sweaty, explosive dance parties. Lil B also drew some interest away from festival’s larger stages and toward the Oasis Dome as he was joined by the whole Odd Future crew (who oddly claimed they were kicked out) to turn up Saturday’s swag (also swag, bringing in your personal spatula for the cook dance.)
Fans who survived the endurance test were rewarded with mind-blowing acts by veteran performers Broken Social Scene and Animal Collective on the mainstage. At the end of the day, the final strains of Arcade Fire were worth the aching feet and absurd post-festival clusterfuck.