Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Albums of the Year 2013 #10 - Foals - Holy Fire
Released back in February, Holy Fire finds itself at number 10 in Breaking More Waves favourite albums of the year list. The third long player from the Oxford based five piece is their loosest sounding record and also their most ambitious. It doesn’t always strike the right chords, but like many other albums in our top 15 of 2013, sometimes it’s the faults in the record that are as endearing as the moments of perfection.
When a rock band’s record is labelled as ambitious, there’s a tendency to think of them aiming to be the next U2 or Coldplay; aiming for stadiums and music for the masses that will drink lager out of four pound plastic pints and bawl along to the big choruses. Holy Fire isn’t one of those records. It has songs that stood no chance of getting in the UK Top 40 - although the choppy grooves of My Number became the bands biggest hit in the UK at no.23. Instead their ambition is demonstrated in the way that Holy Fire sounds broader and sonically more confident that their previous work which was often twitchy, introverted and sounded as if too many barriers had been imposed by the band to enable themselves to really cut loose.
Take Milk & Black Spiders which spirals into something rather beautiful by its end or Inhaler a dirty claustrophobic rock song that shows just how muscular Foals can be. It's tunes like these that make Holy Fire a fantastic rock record.
In a year when indie rock has struggled to do anything more than simply repeat itself with ever decreasing returns, Holy Fire steps out of that circle and wins. The best British indie rock album of the year.
Foals - Inhaler