Review by Ellen Eldridge
The cover art for Holy Fire stands out like a battle call for a new British invasion. The third Foals album follows two gold releases and solidifies the group in a similar fashion to a small business that outlives its first few years. Truth be told, I haven’t heard the band’s first two albums. Such is often the case by the third release; here is where the career starts to take off, and Foals deserve to win as many fans as possible.
A band’s first album introduces and often catapults a style and image into the forefront of fans’ eyes and ears. By the sophomore attempt, most bands seem to sift through more personal thematic issues with career choice and what it really means to work as a musician. By the third album a band decides whether or not it will take life by the ears and do what feels right.
Holy Fire cries out as a pop triumph through the first five tracks, but by track six a more intense yet subtle feeling sinks in. The melodies take on a more sinister tone; far less poppy. This track grabs attention for fans who may have listened on autopilot for the first half of the album.
The stirring melodies and bouncing electropop lullabies string listeners along. Holy Fire works well for those drifting in and out of attention. Songs like “Milk and Black Spiders” work for driving as well as for dancing the night away. The layers can envelope and swallow whole their audience.
I know I’m guilty of comparing emotive and artsy acts to Radiohead. The elements of melody and layered sound, with an overriding vocalist who can both convolute and intrigue with lyrical presentation, just call out to be compared to Radiohead. That’s an incredible compliment from me; comparing a band I’ve recently found to Radiohead means that I’m pulled in and desire to spend increased amounts of time sifting through both the sound layers and lyrical themes. I hope you’ll do the same now that Foals released Holy Fire.
The album releases Today and you can pick it up at Criminal Records, Decatur CD, and Wax n’ Facts. Foals is including a really cool 6×9 journal with your album purchase (while supplies last & only at these stores).
Foals play The Goat Farm on April 30. Tickets on Sale Friday, February 15th at 10AM via Ticket Alternative.