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Josh T. Landow

CD of The Week

Week of 3/11/19

    Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 (Warner Bros.)

    UK band Foals have been making widescreen rock records for over a decade now, and their ambition continues to grow on their fifth release, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1.

    Co-founding member and bassist Walter Gervers left the band before the making of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, but the new tracks still have a strong rhythm and dance groove throughout. "Sunday" starts slow, gradually builds, and around the 3:20 mark, turns into a late '90s electronica track. There are also major dance vibes to "In Degrees," which feels like one big rave.

    Foals cover these tunes in the atmospheric sounds that their songs are usually bathed in, but never envelope or overwhelm the music. I can't say the same for singer Yannis Phillippakis's vocals, which are often hard to understand in the echo-y production. Which is a shame, as he's tackling the endless threats to the world around us, such as climate change. Everything Not Saved… has received some Radiohead comparisons, but while OK Computer dealt with mid-'90s techno-fear, Foals seemingly have an endless list of scary inspirations to write about.

    The heavy, grooving "Exits" starts with the lyric "Now the sea eats the sky / But they say it's a lie / There's no birds left to fly / We'll hide out / Oh, the weather's against us." "On the Luna" is another great track, with its '80s keyboards and guitars on top of a burly rhythm section. Thematically it's similar to Tool's classic "Vicarious," with Phillippakis singing, "Trump clogging up my computer / But I'm watching all day, all day," though later in the song, the lyric switches up to "I'm worried all day, all day."

    Everything Not Saved… drifts a little too far out into the ether with the marimba-filled "Café D'Athens." Phillippakis really does sound like Thom Yorke here, as this track isn't too far from The King of Limbs.

    On Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1, Foals clearly have a lot to say. So much so that we'll be hearing even more from them about these dark times with Part 2 later this year. Let's hope there is more of a light at the end of the tunnel by then."

    Foals return to Philadelphia at The Fillmore on April 20th. Vote for this week's Top 11 @ 11 countdown and enter to win a pair of tickets to the concert.

    **Donate $20 or more to Y-Not Radio to receive a copy of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1. Click here for details.
    Review by Joey O.

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