Finding success off the back of the ill-fated nu-rave scene of 2007/2008, Oxford's Foalsmanaged to avoid the break-ups that many other bands suffered and yesterday released album number three: Holy Fire. Gone are the progressive math-rock beats and off-kilter angular guitars that populated earlier releases and in their place are gentle, ambient synth patterns, jazz influenced guitars and silky smooth vocals. It's a far cry from the days of 'Cassius' and 'Hummer' and a direction that won't please everyone,
The first single taken from Holy Fire is 'Inhaler', a song which aims a little too high with what it wanted to achieve. A messy breakdown halfway through the song hampers the quality and seems somewhat out of place given the steady plod of the verses. There's an attempt at utilising shifts in dynamics here, which unfortunately doesn't work well and leaves the song feeling erratic.
Track four on the album 'Bad Habit' fortunately sees an increase in quality. As a gentle drum beat slowly gathers momentum and instruments until it breaks out in to a chorus reminiscent of New York's Black Kids.
Late Night is the sixth track on the album and features a disco tinged breakdown towards the end which is completely out of character for the band and really doesn't help their case any.
This article was originally written for Listen Up Manchester. Click here to read more reviews from LUM!