I really dig the first two singles from Holy Fire – the first both chronologically and album-sequentially, Inhaler starts it’s life, here in the terrain of the longs-player as a claustrophobic continuance from the Prelude; it sounds closer and closer; tighter and tighter becoming more and more implosive until about 1 min 45 when it finally crashes into itself as Yannis Philippakis shouts “I can’t get enough… SPACE!” and then it’s just mutha-flippin’ on like, how they say, donkey-kong – a riff heavy enough to shift orbits smashes you IN-THE-FACE just how you like it. Brilliantly it swaggers its way through another three minutes, breath that MFer. Then in stark contrast the poppier and dancier and altogether friendlier sounding (it has ooo-ooo-ooo’s in it and who doesn’t love a good ooo-ooo-ooo; seriously?) My Number discofizes yo’ass; rumps will to bump to this, y’know what I’m sayin’?
Everytime‘s chorus is sonically celebratory in contrast, perhaps, to its content – “Every time I see you / I wanna sail away”; the earlier introspective vocal verses give way to drummed skirling and shimmery synths. I am, however, dubious of Late Night replete with weirdly strained-emotive vocals and a seemingly never-ending jam. But elsewhere, for instance on Providence which opens like atmospheric gospel number before an electronica-informed rhythm propels it along at break-neck speed – it’s great! The equally electronic but much more shimmery light-dancing Milk & Black Spiders is dynamic and exciting as builds and drops reach euphoric levels.
But, then, tracks like closers Stepson and Moon showcase, perhaps, producers Moulder and Flood attempting to flex grandiose muscles and try and be Radiohead or something. Except Foals aren’t Radiohead.
Overall, there’s some great songs in here, marred, I think, by some grand and earnest over-theatrics.
RATING : GOOD
I have always struggled with a numerical scale; it feels so finite and arbitrary.
So the CHEESE ON TOAST scale looks a little something like this :
FREAKIN’ AWESOME / JUST AWESOME / REALLY GREAT / GREAT / GOOD / PRETTY COOL / NOT BAD / COULD BE BETTER / PRETTY BAD, ACTUALLY / NOT RECOMMENDED FOR EARS