Foals have never been shy of confidence. A band that arrived like a phoenix from a math-rock inferno, from the word go they’ve had a swagger that’s almost audible in that iconic, plucky guitar strut. As they’ve made their way up the ranks, they’ve grown fully into that shimmery skin even further. Now firmly established as Legitimate Big Festival Headliners, they’re embarking on their most ambitious projects yet, and honestly - it’s no big deal, mate.
Or rather, it is. It’s a very big deal. The first part of the Oxfordian now-four-piece’s ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ double-parter is positively huge in every dimension. Ice cold in focus, positively incendiary in raw heat, it’s quite possibly the most concentrated shot of liquid Foals to date.
Lead single ‘Exits’ set the stage perfectly - an album with a desire to get deep in the groove, it takes the bombast of Foals’ now traditional album taster and forces it to move more than rage. Like an infernal machine on an unholy mission, it’s relentless in its charge, each movement landing with a glorious, satisfying clunk.
At times, this is Foals in full flow. ‘White Onions’ is the rat-at-at-at of a world-class band bashing down the few doors left standing, while ‘On The Luna’ is from the very top drawer, taking a synth hook at turning it into a genuine earworm of substance.
‘Cafe D’Athens’ - a default phone ringtone finding its own fuzzy consciousness in the best way - and the first part of blissed out, fittingly titled ‘Sunday’, both show that Foals have more than one gear too, and not all of them risk breaking the speed limit. That the latter later develops into a full-on, glowstick waving warehouse rave only further shows the versatility at play.
The trend for bands to deliver material in two, six-month separated drops looks like one that might stick around for a while at least - and while it’s likely to be those quick turnaround second efforts that show just how good an idea that really is, ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1’ is a collection that suggests whatever comes next will be far from an ill-considered, hastily thrown together filler. Assured, varied and sure of stride, Foals only make good albums, and they’re halfway to a great one.