Total Life Forever
This Oxford quintet continues to find new audio terrain on their second album, 2010’s Total Life Forever. Foals’ view of techno isn’t some manic, hedonistic pump but a measured, textured crawl through the fixations of the night where one’s anxieties are relieved or expressed in the tense dynamics of music that fights against the machine for its humanity. “Blue Blood” is a gorgeous opener that suggests a party still in preparation. The synth flourishes break out the excitement while Andrew Mears sings with a longing in his voice. “Miami” allows drummer Jack Bevan the chance to add his solid muscle to the groove, turning this electronic outfit into a purebred rock band with a fascination with gadgets. The title track kicks back with a quick twist that resembles Paul McCartney’s “Coming Up” merged with the ghostly voices of New Order and OMD. “Spanish Sahara” is the masterwork here, a brewing seven-minute piece where the waves of keyboards grow in ferocity until the vocals can only barely reach the surface. Electronic music fans should find much to uncover here.