Double album projects seem to be the new thing. After The 1975 announced theirs back in November, Oxford’s Foals follow suit with Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 whose second installment is set to arrive this autumn. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost was recorded after a longer period of hibernation (their last album What Went Down was released in 2015) and the departure of founding bassist Walter Gervers, which left the group in a state of recalibration.
It seems this phase has done them good because with this first offering of their dual album project, Foals come out on top. Suffice to say that the Oxonian quartet has come a long way from playing chaotic house parties in their hometown to becoming one of the UK’s arena sized exports, equaled perhaps only by Arctic Monkeys and The 1975.
Foals – On The Luna
The album’s topics are almost apocalyptic in style, ranging from fear of surveillance, environmental collapse to social anxiety and the current general cultural climate. Musically, the songs interlink like a clockwork. There is the occasional hint of their math rock origins on more upbeat tracks such as In Degrees or recent single On The Luna but they are a far cry from the urgency of 2008’s Cassius or Hummer, that were the soundtrack to every university party back in the day.
Heavier tracks such as White Onions, lead single Exits, and the massive Syrups will not only make great additions to their live set, they’re also some of the record’s most captivating tracks. The album, or its first part at least, is rounded of by the beat ridden Sunday and the somber piano ballad I’m Done With The World (& It’s Done With Me) that culminates in a wall of synths and leaves room for speculation regarding Part 2 of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost.
Frontman Yannis Philippakis has a lot to say but did he really need to serve it as a two course menu? With a record that clocks in at just under 30 minutes, I cannot help but feel that cashing in twice is more than just a welcome side effect for this new type of release model. Notwithstanding all its brilliance, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 is really only half an album.