Album Review: ‘Holy Fire’ by Foals

Album Review: ‘Holy Fire’ by Foals

When you consider Holy Fire as an album, irony is the first thing that comes to mind. A band who choose to call themselves ‘Foals’ unwillingly emit ideas of youth and innocence, yet the band themselves have produced something that couldn’t be further from these two things. The Oxford five piece have wrestled with the ‘Indie’ label; trying to distance themselves from twangy guitars and bizarre lyricism. Holy Fire is a triumphant final blow to these Indie stereotypes they quite clearly try to battle.

Last November I heard My Number being played on Jools Holland and I had to sit down. It was a masterful combination of Yannis Philippakis’ classic falsetto among denser guitars and carefully moulded structure to create something that was still distinctly Foals but with an added synchronicity among band members.

This is where Holy Fire excels. After a few listens one can see that the album was made as a listening experience as each track seamlessly glides into the next however this is not to say there is a lack of commercial potential. Inhaler is one of those rare songs which gets the heart pumping. ‘I can’t get enough space’ Yannis bellows and you get a sense of how much this outfit has matured and pushed their sound since the likes of Hummer or Mathletics. Saying this, the total beauty of Holy Fire lies within the overall product.

First track Prelude paints a picture of fore coming events by introducing distanced and echoed vocals pursued by a drop of heavy bass that strikes you off guard and consequently gets the synapses firing.

Reminiscent of The Cure’s gothic charm Late Night is a track entwined of layered guitars and expert use of intervals epitomised by the beautifully constructed and rich outro.

Moon is simply a delicately crafted and ambient piece which makes excellent use of shifting dynamics and could not be a more fitted ending to an awesomely exhausting record. Lyrically the winds have changed. Once I read that Yannis & Co. were curbing the amount of herbal inspiration they were consuming my first thought was the way it would influence the calibre of their lyrics and the tone to follow. Holy Fire demonstrates that although ambiguity and profoundness fitted Foals’ style previously, the new confident and literal style takes nothing away from the overall experience.

This is the main event for Foals. Everything before was a warm up and now they’re on fire.

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One Response to “Album Review: ‘Holy Fire’ by Foals”

  1. Tom

    Feb 28. 2013

    Another great album from quality band. Well worth the money!

    squidoo.com/music-band-foals

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