Foals’ gnarly fucker of a new single ‘Black Bull’ is the most feral beast they’ve ever unleashed

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It's by far the most violent and urgent thing they’ve ever recorded

Foals have prepped two albums, described as “two halves of the same locket”, for 2019 – ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2’ will arrive in October. Hell, if lead single ‘Black Bull’ is anything to by, ‘Part 2’ is very much going to be Jekyll to the the Hyde of ‘Part 1’.

Their debut ‘Antidotes’ saw Foals become indie darlings through intricate but immediate math-rock, before ‘Total Life Forever’ added an expansive lushness to show that they were here to stay. With 2013’s ‘Holy Fire’ and 2015’s ‘What Went Down’, they laid everything on thick to become the true big boys of British rock, while this year’s ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1’ would become their statement of what they were truly capable of: a showcase of considered, crystal-cut, cinematic and sophisticated art-pop.  If ‘Part 1’ was Foals hanging up a chandelier, then ‘Black Bull’ sends it crashing to the ground.

I’ve got to rip up the road,” squawks frontman Yannis Philippakis, with none of the concern for the wellbeing of his vocal chords that a touring musician ought to have; it’s symptomatic of a song that runs away with itself. After ‘Part 1’ ended with apocalyptic scenes of fire and scorched earth, this is the survivors looking over the wasteland and shouting, “Fuck this”.

In the lineage of ‘Inhaler’ and ‘What Went Down’, ‘Black Bull’ is a gnarly fucker that flexes their rock muscles – but this time it’s to bursting point. With razor-sharp riffs and a paranoid menace throughout, it’s a full-on onslaught so relentless that it feels constantly under threat of collapse.

For fans not too taken with the subtleties of ‘Part 1’, fear not – there’s absolutely no time for that here. By far the most violent, conflicted and urgent thing they’ve recorded, it seems Foals have finally managed in capturing the mindless abandon of their live shows. For the first time on record they have no inhibitions. The beast is well and truly out of the cage.

– Foals release ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2’ on October 18.