Album review: Foals - Holy Fire

18:56 21 February 2013

Foals - Holy Fire

Foals - Holy Fire

Archant

The lads finally hit their stride with a set of largely credible, complex and cool tunes.

Feted producers Flood and Alan Moulder have been brought in for the indie-crossover act’s third album, and boy, do the results measure up.

The strutting, unashamedly poppy single My Number will be just at home in festival fields as basement indie clubs this year, but it signals just how brilliantly engineered this record is.

Most songs drip with an embarrassment of instrumental riches, with riffs, beats and signatures emerging from the musical thicket for a moment in the sun before disappearing into the verdant, vibrant jungle.

From the steel-drums-and-guitar riff within Milk & Black Spiders to the dense, full-blooded Providence, Holy Fire is slickly realised.

It feels adventurous, exhilarating, evocative and spiritual by turns; the sad, drained Late Night and aching, exotic Stepson are wonderfully atmospheric slabs of glowing-ember, comedown electronica, the latter offset with a burbling tribal drumbeat and maracas.

Despite a couple of duds, this is Foals’ most accomplished work yet that should reap rewards.

4 stars

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