ALBUM REVIEW: “Holy Fire” by Foals


I’ve tried very hard to like the music that Foals release. Ever since their debut “Antidotes” in 2008 I’ve remained committed and attempted with each album to settle into the sound of the band. Each album has provided me short term enjoyment but when the inital excitement of it all subsides it is pretty characterless music. A very neat and tidy version of different musical scenes and bands that have come before them. If the band does indeed stand behind the “math rock” and “dance punk” genre tag then I can safely say that their music does fit those descriptions perfectly, all style and no substance. For every great song that the band has there are terrible “vodaphone” mobile telephone commercial music songs. When they enter that realm of “indie” it becomes frustrating for me to listen to the band.

Now you may think that I’m being harsh on the band, perhaps. I want it known that I still like this band a lot and the idea of their existence makes me happy. I just wish I was 15 years old because I have a feeling that then it might make more sense to me but perhaps it wouldn’t have, I could see my 15 year old self hating this. All that being said I like what Foals are all about and “Holy Fire” is the best thing the band has ever done.

Besides the terrible songΒ “My Number” this album is fucking brilliant, full of darkness and interesting song structures. I feel like after the wankery of past releases the band has finally put a bit of soul into the science. I believe these songs a lot more and I think it is that angst that gives this album life. The whole album (minus that fuck awful song “My Number”) plays out like a well orchestrated episode of “Skins” – brilliantly dramatic and full of complicated emotions. This is the first time I’ve actually been emotionally moved by the bands music. You could claim that the genius of this album is the talent of the band and I’d agree with about 70 per cent of that claim, for me though I think Producers Flood and Alan Moulder are the real stars here. They seemed to pull something out of the band that was lacking previously which was the ability to be soulful and mathamatical all at once. This gives the band massive crossover appeal but more than anything gives them a platform to showcase what great songwriters they are.

I may be a harsh judge of a band like Foals but I feel they deserve it because I came to their music expecting amazing life changing experiences but all I got was a slippery rhythm that polluted my soul and frustated my mind. It was all too neat and tidy to make any kind of emotional impact. I stuck with the band because I still feel excitement at what they were hinting at and on “Holy Fire” the band finally delivers. The band finally convinced me that they have something meaningful to offer and I look forward to the future music released by Foals.

7 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton



One Reply to “ALBUM REVIEW: “Holy Fire” by Foals”

  1. I don’t agre when you that holy fire is the first album with soul of the band. I meany they are meany powerfull and emotive song but form me Spanish Sahara is the song with more soul in the intire world. I agree to your point with antidotes but TLF has a lot of soul.
    And i dont know if you tried to find the meaning of their song but i have been searching and their letters are very enigmatic and the message are powerfull ( beside olympic airways and blue blood). Generally their song are about dark things, suicide pain.

    Anyway for me Foals had always put soul in their song but not in a sensetive way. and what funny is that sometimes the song is poppy but when you look at the lyrics is not the samething.

    Anyway you are totally right when you say that Holy Fire is a great Album πŸ™‚

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