Released: February 11, 2013
The Foals’ previous album Total Life Forever put them on the map but it never left a lasting impression for me. I even caught part of their Coachella set in 2011 and still wasn’t compelled to invest much listening time. A few close friends of mine are big fans and so when Holy Fire was released last week, I decided to give them another chance. It only took one listen to convert me into a real fan of Foals.
Holy Fire eases you in to the album with the aptly titled “Prelude” which serves as an aesthetic overture for the rest of the album. Their previous albums always seemed toothless and unmemorable but they brings some serious noise on track 2 with “Inhaler” which builds and expands before unleashing a guitar heavy chorus that brings some serious noise. Then comes the single. “My Number” is a grooving, melodic and infectious track that will almost certainly find its way into my Top Songs of 2013 list.
The rest of the album has a dynamic recipe of soft ambient slow jams, uptempo guitar pop tracks and heavier guitar driven rock songs. Holy Fire is not a perfect record and its probably not even a great one either, but it does put the bands growth on display. I think there is too much weight given to debut albums purely because we react so strongly to a new sound. I’ll be the first to admit, I tend to give a lot of credit to fresh new voices but Holy Fire is a wonderful reminder that not all bands start at the top of their game. With their third album, I believe that Foals are just starting to truly hit their stride but I also believe the best is yet to come.
Top Tracks: “Inhaler”, “My Number”, “Milk & Black Spiders”