Monday, 5 November 2012

Track Review: Foals - Inhaler

It's been two years since Foals released their follow-up album Total Life Forever. Turn another two years back and they were one of the buzz bands of the year, to NME anyway with their debut album Antidotes. Not quite so indie rock as so math rock, Foals became a cult band that toured the small venues on the winter circuit, and they still do to this day, for the intimate effect (it does work). Total Life Forever was a melancholic album with a fantastic first half and a not-so fantastic second half. They recently announced their third album, Holy Fire, and this is the lead single off of that called "Inhaler".

"Inhaler" bears a resemblance to the late great cellist and no wave artist Arthur Russell. The reverb/delay mix and progression is right up my tree. Foals established this riff back in 2011 (that’s the earliest I've heard) when they played Coachella. Yannis opens the vocals with the instantly memorable, "Sticks and stones, may break my bones." Oh dear, what do we have here Yannis. Putting an entire track down because of the opening line is ignorant of me, so I won't; but it does leave a damp rag over the four minutes that follow. Yannis sings with a falsetto, opposing his usual deeper and quitter vocals on both Total Life Forever and Antidotes

There's a catchy chorus section and plenty of rock attitude in this track. It's certainly one of the heaviest Foals have put out, not to mention catchiest. Some fans may see it as a step back from the mellow tunes and danceable singles; however this track still has the features that make Foals a band you must see live to fully appreciate. Neither math rock nor indie rock, Foals re-invent themselves in British alternative music. While Alt-J relaxes into the Mercury Prize royal throne, Foals prep their Mercury Prize 2013 nominating album Holy Fire, out February.

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