For anyone who is a Foals fan, whether you liked them ‘before they were cool’ or if you found out about them because they sold out (RAH) in 20 minutes, ‘Holy Fire’ – their third album – has been something to look forward to. For anyone who isn’t, change that.
Previewed with singles ‘Inhaler’ and then ‘My Number’, anticipation built and – more importantly – there were promising signs. ‘Inhaler’ is incredibly intense and powerful whereas ‘My Number’ is much more in line with debut album Antidotes. It shows off their technique and ability to write a catchy chorus.
Holy Fire seems to follow this mix. ‘Bad Habit’ and ‘Everytime’ are brilliant combinations of technical ability, harmonies, and provide a refreshing but welcome new angle to indie rock and the Foals discography. ‘Late Night’ is reminiscent of ‘Spanish Sahara’ from the last album – a gentle start which gets increasingly dramatic as the song progresses. Compared to Total Life Forever the album keeps up its momentum much better after this point.
There are a few twists – ‘Providence’ is definitely Foals showing their Math Rock influence. But like every track in Holy Fire the idea and execution of each song is nailed to perfection. ‘Stepson’ is like listening to the change Foals have gone through in their first two albums – it starts almost like ‘TRON’ from their debut, and moves into ‘Two Trees’ from Total Life Forever. Finally, ‘Moon’ which is very ambient and calming. Unlike that which went before it, it rounds off the album nicely.
In all Holy Fire is, without doubt, brilliant. It experiments, but fans of Foals shan’t be disappointed. Each song would be the highlight of another artist’s album, but together they compliment rather than over-power one another. When you get your first chance to listen to this album make sure its got your full attention, it deserves it.