Seven years on from the debut that caused such a massive stir, Foals have now dropped what could be their career defining record in the shape of ‘What went down’.
There’s a primal instinct about the record, an animalistic quality that delves into quarters that have been seemingly untouched before by the band. Yanik’s coarse screams throughout give the impression that nothing is being held back anymore.
The title track displays that new found raucous approach insanely well, generating unprecedented levels of power right from the off. It’s easy to see why the lads chose to lead with that, because it really is a behemoth of a track.
Those raw explosions combine beautifully with the slower paced, melody driven moments in the album like ‘Give it all’, where hazy synths take more of a forefront and Yanik’s softer side is called back into action as his soothing, high pitched rings of “oooo, oooo” echo out to send shivers down the spine.
Foals have always possessed the ability to generate tsunamis of atmosphere in tracks, take ‘Spanish Sahara’ for instance. That same sort of atmosphere building has rocketed to a whole other level in this record though. It truly is a masterclass in the art of generating goose bump inducing moments. ‘London Thunder’ is a fine example, a real gem of melancholy.
For all them deep and angst ridden moments throughout, there’s still the funk like, fretboard tickling pleasantries that made them so appealing upon their appearance. ‘Night Swimming’ capturing that bouncy, dance floor filling feeling that breaks up the more serious, darker tracks nicely.
So much has been made of the group being potential future Glastonbury headliners. Even before this album there was a pretty solid argument for that. However, after this release, it’s going to be near impossible to make a case against that booking.
Often successful bands can look back on a particular album or period and pin point the moment where they made that step up. We could be amidst that very period for Foals now thanks to this absolute monster of a record. Pyramid stage next year?