Every so often, I’ll get my hands on an album that will completely hook me, forcing me to play it on repeat for days (sometimes even weeks) before I can stop. My latest obsession started when I picked up the new LP from Foals, a 5 piece indie/math rock band out of Oxford. Total Life Forever is their second studio album, and it’s set to release on May 10th. You may not have heard of the band’s first album, 2008’s Antidotes, but there’s a lot about this second LP that should catch your attention.
The band’s two founding members Jack Bevin (drums) and Yannis Philippakis (vocals, guitar) began their musical careers playing for an obscure math rock band called The Edmund Fitzgerald. Although they’ve moved on to bigger and better things, influences of classic math rock elements, such as short, intricate guitar riffs and subtle tempo changes, are still readily apparent in their music.
On Total Life Forever, Foals perfectly blend these math-rock influences with a more mainstream indie sound, creating catchy, complex and smoothly flowing melodies throughout the album. The boys also prove their versatility on tracks like ‘Spanish Sahara.’ This slow-moving, near seven minute ballad takes a more progressive style, continuously layering synth and guitar riffs to create very satisfying musical peaks and valleys. There are no “throw-away” tracks on this album, every song is skillfully crafted and keeps you wanting to hear more. No wonder I wasn’t able to stop listening.