FOALS – ‘Holy Fire’

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Release date: February 11, 2013

Producer: Flood and Alan Moulder

Label: Transgressive

When you think about Foals, what comes to mind – Young horses?  A strange new-age name for your hippy cousins’ daughter? Well you’d be wrong, unless you thought of young horses, which would, technically, be spot on.

However, Foals are none of the above. They might have once been bundled up with post-teen angst, they might have once been an indie rock garage band, and for all we know they might have once bred, raised and nurtured young horses, but what we do know is what they are now, or rather what they have become, is sensational. Since the release of their third album ‘Holy Fire‘, Foals have had red carpets laid before them, roses tossed at their feet, and mantelpieces adorned with every honour Oxford could bestow upon their young musical geniuses.


From left to right: Walter Gervers (bass), Jack Bevan (drums), Yannis Philippakis (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Smith (guitar), and Edwin Congreave (keyboard).

Praise from the mainstream media has never been regarded as something important for the born and bred Oxford quartet; such was shown by the exclusion of their breakout track ‘Hummer’ off their debut album. ‘Holy Fire’ however, has been seen as a maturation of the group, their approach towards the media, and most importantly – of their music. With tracks such as ‘Inhaler’, ‘My Number’, and ‘Bad Habit’ all receiving critical acclaim throughout Europe and Northern America, Foals are going from strength to strength.

‘Holy Fire’ has also been noted to showcase a more professional and diverse side of the band. Melodic, bass laden, dance orientated tracks, such as ‘My Number’ are being followed by supercharged rock anthems like ‘Inhaler’ whereby Philippakis’ vocals along with Smith’s guitar solo’s exemplify the bands talents and credentials in the rock n’ roll universe.

Previous albums such as ‘Antidotes’ and ‘Total Life Forever’ had made relatively good impressions on the UK music charts but they appear barely a ripple when compared to ‘Holy Fire’ and its global impact. Tracks such as ‘Olympic Airways’ and ‘Hummer’ (both from ‘Antidotes – Limited Edition’) have become crowd anthems with their catchy guitar rifts, unique keyboard solo’s, thick bass lines, and their distinct (and wholly British) style.

Foals are one of the headlining acts for RAMfest 2014, which is being held in Cape Town and Johannesburg from the 6th to the 9th of March next year. Bookings can be made from the RAMfest page, as well as from with tickets starting from R600.

‘Holy Fire’ receives an outstanding 9.5/10 from my side; with my anticipation for their arrival in the motherland growing with each and every passing play of ‘Olympic Airways’, ‘Two Steps Twice’ and ‘Inhaler’.


For the Metacritic review on ‘Holy Fire’ click here!

Brad Dennett


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