Artist: Foals
Album: “What Went Down”
Release Date: August 28th, 2015
Label: Transgressive – Warner Bros.

Foals have long departed their skeletal, math-rock sound that filled their spectacular 2008 debut, Antidotes.

On their latest release, the Oxford natives show maturity and growth as What Went Down displays their current state; an abundance of grit and intensity musters a fuller, and more dynamic sound that feels fresh and familiar relating to their previous efforts.

Lead singer Yannis Philippakis has stated he has tapped into his inner madman on their latest album. On the opening track “What Went Down” its quite obvious he does just that; shouting along menacing instrumentals, “I’m a psychotic animal, I’m a psychotic fool” making it Foals’ heaviest song yet. Taming the mood a bit is “Mountain At My Gates” as it does what Foals does best; gradually build-up and breakdown. The stellar and unique drumming from Jack Bevan, grips the song tight as it dictates the temper from delighted into fierce. Build-ups and breakdowns become common through-out the record, but songs like “Give it All” and “London Thunder” instrumentally put you in a trance as they prepare you for whats to follow. “Snake Oil” mimics The Black Keys with complexity, while “Night Swimmers” revisits an early Foals sound of dreamy, aquatic guitar and bass grooves that prance beside shuffling drums that flooded their sophomore effort Total Life Forever.

What Went Down satisfies in the fact that Foals alters their sound without alienating their prior selves. The playfulness remains intact with a hint of anger and depth, making it a great listen for the average listener, but maybe overindulgent to the hardcore fans.

By: Matthew Burke