Foals

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1

Warner Bros.

Mar 15, 2019 Issue #65 - Mitski and boygenius Bookmark and Share


While listening to this latest dour record from UK art-rockers Foals, it is tempting to wonder what might have happened if they'd lent into the goofier side of their sound ("Cassius, it's over!"/"One step! Two step! Speed bikes!"). Had this band ignored the desire to take themselves so seriously, they may have evolved into a loose and nimble set of musicians. Instead, they've made a fatal error of mistaking increased grandeur for increased complexity.

Foals certainly sound bigger than they did on earlier records, but more interesting? Or at least more exciting? Unfortunately, no. Everything Not Saved Will Be LostPart 1part two arrives in fallis a collection of leaden dance-rock, ponderous show-boating, and, thankfully, brief flashes of inventiveness. Foals are not yet a bad band, they are still too competent for that, but this record's promise is blunted by its workmanlike enthusiasm.

Sure, "White Onions" kicks up a spirited ruckus, but its sports team chants and faux-metal riffing feel like a tired "one for the festival crowd." And while "Cafe D'Athens" opens with an intriguing skittering beat, it falls apart soon after with the entrance of an irritatingly directionless vocal melody.

That's not to say the album is devoid of enjoyment. "Exits" is a serviceable single, if only because it stitches together tricks from past Foals songs. And when "On the Luna" bursts into view, riding the sort of bouncy interlocking groove last heard on Antidotes, it's a sharp, muscular reminder of what once made this band great.

Lead singer Yannis Philippakis is done with the world according to the album's closing song, and based on the washed-out tones of this record, it's easy to why. But while Everything Not Saved Will Be LostPart 1 aims to be a document of dark times, it is best when allows itself to be playful. That playfulness remains Foals' most underused strength. (www.foals.co.uk)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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Jacob Rigin
March 15th 2019
11:51pm

The album title rocks. Pluc

Lachen
March 18th 2019
11:25pm

Lachen