August 26, 2022

Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: Part 1 (2019)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Indie Rock
Label Number: 587415-2

© 2019 Warner Bros. Records
The first installment of a double LP, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Pt. 1 delivers on the promise of past Foals outings like Holy Fire and What Went Down, pitting laser focus and wild abandon against each other in the group's most versatile collection of songs to date. The album's A-side comes off like a dance party on the deck of the Titanic, administering locomotive-like basslines and shadowy though no less propulsive beats, and pairing those rhythms with caustic and cautionary lyrics that invoke zeitgeisty anxieties like ecological disaster ("Exits") and infobesity ("White Onions"). That feeling of being overwhelmed looms large over the proceedings, with the anthemic and penultimate cut "Sunday" serving as the lone beacon of hope, though by no means redemption -- "The birds are all singing 'It's the end of the world.'" That song and the wistful closer "I'm Done with the World (& It's Done with Me)" hew closer to the atmosphere-heavy indie rock architecture of bands like Everything Everything and Alt-J, with the former cut invoking an apocalypse-themed rendering of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World." The rest of the LP spends its time leaping from Violator-era Depeche Mode synth pop ("In Degrees") to Motorik post-punk ("Syrups") to cosmopolitan indie pop ("Cafe D'Athens") with nary a pause in the action -- the largely ambient, 44-second "Surf, Pt.1" feels fairly superfluous. Reportedly, the band felt a bit at sea following the amicable departure of longtime bass player and founding member Walter Gervers, who left the fold shortly before tracking -- they continued to operate as a four-piece, sharing bass duties in the studio. Foals have always been deft wielders of unease, and the shambolic Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost feels certain in its uncertainty. Whether or not all of these stylistic shifts find some common ground with the release of volume two remains to be seen, but there's no denying the vitality that runs through this ten-song set, nor the inescapable feeling of doom.

tags: foals, everything not saved will be lost, part 1, 2019, flac,

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