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Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 2 (Album Review)

Wednesday, 23 October 2019 Written by Graeme Marsh

Photo: Alex Knowles

Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis recently summed up the music industry when he claimed that artists can spend two years putting a record together only to see its initial welcome quickly wane as the consumer craves the next fix. With this attitude to new music—and, let’s face it, information in general—continuing to increase, you have to wonder where it’s all going to end up.

For Foals, 2019 culminates with the release of their sixth studio album and second of this year: part two of ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’. Self-producing isn’t something that the group have gone in for before but here they do, and for the most part it works. 

Musically, though, this collection is a mixed bag. At the centre of the album are some of the heaviest sounds Foals have ever laid down.

Philippakis’s screamed vocals on Black Bull, and a Black Keys-like riff on Like Lightning, appear alongside detours into the sort of monstrous angst more readily associated with several ‘70s rock stalwarts. 

Mesmerising, jangly guitar accompanies menacing bass on the slower, punchy 10,000 Feet, while Into The Surf shimmers serenely. All of this follows in the wake of the upbeat Wash Off, which nods to the band’s math-rock past, and the brilliant single The Runner, where call and response verses pull us in before a soaring, catchy chorus is unleashed.

Despite getting close to something truly fantastic, the epic closer Neptune pushes some boundaries at over 10 minutes. It includes an instrumental section that threatens to get lost in a sea of self-indulgence before returning for a triumphant conclusion.

Maybe albums these days just aren’t consistent enough on their own merits to warrant longevity in the same way as, say, ‘Rumours’, ‘Revolver’ or ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. But it’s ironic that Philippakis’s contention that Foals aren’t capable of getting everything they want to say across in just 45 minutes is undercut by the fact that a judicious edit would have elevated ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’.

If they had piled the best tracks from the two segments into one space then they would have had a classic on their hands; one capable of tempting even the most trigger happy of new music discarders into giving it a much longer run on the turntable or alternative listening device. Instead, we’re left with two good albums, and zero great ones.

Foals Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed April 29 2020 - EDINBURGH Usher Hall
Sat May 02 2020 - LONDON Olympia London
Wed May 06 2020 - BLACKPOOL Empress Ballroom
Sat May 09 2020 - BIRMINGHAM Arena Birmingham
Fri July 10 2020 - CARDIFF Cardiff Castle

Click here to compare & buy Foals Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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