Foals have finally returned following a cold, lonely winter since the release of 2015’s What Went Down. Their new album comes as the first half of the year’s releases from the band and is a return to the math rock sound that found them an audience on Antidotes.
2018 saw them lose bassist Walter Gervers and rather than replace him, move to become a four piece. In a band where all the members feel equally integral, there were worries of what this would bring about for new music. After What Went Down’s distortion heavy sound, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 1 takes on a more clinical approach, looking back at where they came from.
Everything Not Saved is a beast, there’s no denying it. Foals have never done anything half hearted though. This sounds like Foals in their purest, most undiluted form. Rich, warm sounding instruments take over a lot of the tracks, distracting from the horror of the near apocalypse Yannis Philippakis’ lyrics describe.
The duality of this album is the real talking point, though Foals have bounced between two extremes on a number of occasions, never has it sounded so good. Even through the lighter tracks there’s a moodiness that can’t be shifted, it harks back to What Went Down where there was no light relief.
Where that one feels more of a show having been recorded straight off the back of tour, Everything Not Saved is calculated. Even looking at the troubling topics of lyrical content, they’re uplifted with more upbeat energy under them, furthering the dichotomy.
‘Sunday’ is an insight to if Foals ever tried their hand at lounge music. It’s the calm beauty somewhat akin to Beach House before ‘Sunday’ remembers it’s a Foals song and runs away with a disco drum beat. Before the release of the album there was a mention of the duality of the two albums, one cold and one warm and even here on individual tracks that duality is such an integral part, threatening to split the whole thing apart.
I’m not entirely sure what the future holds for Foals either in the short term looking to Part 2 or long term looking to a future without a permanent bass player, but what I do know is that I’d like someone to kindly pump Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 right into my veins thank you very kindly.
Listen to Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 1 right here.