'Triumphant, exciting and eminently listenable’
Jonny Edge
17:06 17th October 2019

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Following on from the Mercury Music prize nominated Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 is no mean feat, an album which already felt like a coalescence of every musical influence Foals have had since their 2007 debut, Antidotes. At least this time around the remit was completely clear. Frontman Yannis Philippakis has been very upfront about Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 being “a heavier listen” with “big riffs”. It is, in his own words, “a rock record”. If only it were that simple. 

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 is a rock record, but as with anything Foals have ever released, there’s more to it than that. It is both a continuation, and an improvement upon its predecessor, resuming the world-ending themes of Part 1 and bringing them to their natural conclusions, while also somehow managing to gel together more convincingly and cohesively than its already impressive predecessor.

We start with ‘Red Desert’, an instrumental that effectively rearranges the scenery and set dressing left behind after the emotional cliff-hanger that was Part 1’s “‘’m Done With The World (& It’s Done With Me)’. Part 2’s opener is cinematic and positively sci-fi in the soundscape it creates. You are well and truly transported to the wasteland of its namesake. From there, we’re straight into ‘The Runner’, one of Part 2’s banner singles – and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it have one of the catchiest riffs on the album, it immediately establishes the tone that Philippakis promised. It is a song that, more than anything on Part 1, feels like the culmination of Foals’ entire discography to date. There’s something for every layer of Foals fan here.

Next is ‘Wash Off’ with a riff that is eerily reminiscent of ‘Inhaler’, and straight out of Antidotes-era playbook. The drums are faster and harder hitting this time around though. Their fine plucked guitar sound is present, correct and razor sharp as ever here – frankly, they’re just showing off.

‘Black Bull’ is ‘What Went Down’ Part 2. Philippakis’ voice is just the right kind of blown out, and honestly, it’s songs like this that make me wish Foals would do a full album of filthy garage jams just like this. ‘Like Lightning’ is a chance to catch your breath. The pace slows down, the drumbeat becomes a persistent, thundering march – Philippakis’ voice a snarling drill sergeant’s orders. And then,’Dreaming Of’. Just when you thought you could see where they were going, Foals throw us off the scent. The publicity for Part 2 dares you to pigeonhole it, but songs like this make you smile at how readily Foals defy their own hype.

‘Ikaria’ is a brief piano instrumental that perfectly tees up the dreamy psychedelia of ’10,000 Feet’. Speaking of which, it’s a song of juxtapositions, presenting a dreamlike guitar riff undercut with a filthy, rumbling bassline and crisp, hard hitting drums. ‘Into The Surf’ continues in kind, with a soaring soundscape that reintroduces the calibre of piano introduced in ‘Ikaria’.

And then, ‘Neptune’. A ten-minute epic from a band who’s second longest song sits at just under seven. It’s surprising, therefore, just how perfectly paced its ten-minute runtime is. Quite how it doesn’t outstay its welcome and doesn’t come across as flagrantly self-indulgent is astonishing in its own right. The track would be an incredible show closer, it’s got such a perfect sense of finality to it. It’s Foals by way of Pink Floyd and has to be heard to be believed.

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 closes out, not just an astounding double-album in a band’s discography that is already well stocked with astounding albums, but a chapter in the band’s history too. They’ve earned the right to show off and show off they absolutely do in Part 2. It’s triumphant, exciting and eminently listenable.

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 is released on 18 October 2019 via Warner Records. 

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