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What Went Down (Deluxe)

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Album Review

After the international chart success of 2013's Holy Fire, Foals officially embrace that album's rich, atmospheric post-punk revivalism over the rawer math rock tendencies of earlier LPs for their fourth full-length, What Went Down. Only ghostly traces of math rock remain on the album, such as when sustained synths wash over interlocking drum-guitar meters on the closer, "A Knife in the Ocean." The majority of the record avoids any prior levels of intricacy, opting instead for intense airiness in the form of passionate, danceable ruminations. Above all, the album is driving; even at relatively sleepier moments, drums kick in as if on cue and set any lost momentum back on track ("Give It All"). Vocalist Yannis Philippakis pushes his voice harder than ever before here, both in terms of range and strain, and his ability to at times resonate like Ian Curtis and soar like Bono is no small feat. The sparkling, rockin' title-track opener introduces his yowl with a clamoring swagger throughout the instrumentation, and with lyrics like "I buried my guilt in a pit in the sound/With the rust and the vultures and the trash downtown." Also vigorous, the particularly post-punky, Motorik "Snake Oil" later plows straight into the lighter but rhythmically locomotive-like "Night Swimmers." There are calmer moments, like the slower, more spare "London Thunder ("I'm on the red-eye flight to nowhere good"), but the album's intensity and pulse remain. Ultimately, What Went Down should please fans of Holy Fire, and they may not be the only ones drawn to its gloomy and persistent energy. [What Went Down was also released with a bonus DVD.]

Customer Reviews

Back to their roots

This album so far has been amazing! They are bringing little parts from everyone of their previous themes,vibes and sounds, and putting them all together. I feel they need to go back to their roots after Holy fire. They're keeping up with the math rock vibe that they made in Antidotes.
I love this band so much. I just hope everyone will as well.

Best Album of The Year

The CD is still not out but gets my vote for the "Best Album of the Year". Every song is a gem and should finally bring the Foals the recognition they richly deserve.

Thoughtful

This is my favorite band of this century. I think the guys in the band are true artists. Their songs are thought out beautifully. The songs always feel fresh and sound unique, but still have the Foals sound. In other words not every song has the same sound or feeling, as some lazy, more well known bands do. Still giving the newly released tracks a listen but I am beyond satisfied with this album.

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Oxford, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in Oxford, England, by longtime friends Yannis Philippakis (guitar) and Jack Bevan (drums), along with Andrew Mears on vocals, guitarist Jimmy Smith, and bassist Walter Gervers, Foals -- whose name is a play on the etymology of Philippakis' name -- began as a way to protest against the proggier sounds that were both popular in Oxford and in Philippakis and Bevan's former band, the Edmund Fitzgerald. After releasing the single "Try This on Your Piano" in 2006, Mears left Foals in order to more...
Full Bio
What Went Down (Deluxe), Foals
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