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Album review: Foals, Holy Fire (Transgressive)


It may simply be the influence of producers Flood and Alan Moulder, who have a track record of rendering indie-rock commercially palatable, but on Holy Fire, Foals move further away from their nerdy math-rock origins to a more muscular rock'n'roll style.

The tricky staccato guitar lines are still there, but on “Inhaler” they sound like thumb-piano harnessed to a huge funk groove: it's akin to a less stiff Franz Ferdinand, as is the rolling rocker “My Number”, on which Yannis Philippakis sings of getting back to the country: “We don't need the city, the creed or the culture now” – the sort of spiky, outsider attitude which pervades songs like “Bad Habit”. But it's a one-sided album: following the soulful “Late Night”, things plummet badly in the second half.

Download: Late Night; My Number