Foals // What Went Down
What Went Down builds on the U.K. quintet's already solid canon of trance-inducing math-rock and haze-thick guitar hooks.
What Went Down
Tightly packed with ten fuzz-stomp rock-funk tracks fit for both intimate clubs and throngs of festivalgoers thousands deep, What Went Down builds on the U.K. quintet's already solid canon of trance-inducing math-rock and haze-thick guitar hooks. Still anthemically artful, What Went Down is cleaner, simpler at times than its three predecessors. Leaving the ever-intricate and hypnotic riffs more exposed results in an awesome rawness not as pronounced on 2013's Holy Fire. On "Mountain At My Gates," frontman Yannis Philippakis shifts from baritone croons to a near-pitch-breaking scream without ever losing control, churning out lines like "I'll drive my car without the brakes" atop delightfully driving interplay between drummer Jack Bevan and bassist Walter Gervers. If you don't listen to album closer "A Knife in the Ocean," an intense swelling of dense churning layers beneath Philippaki's soaring vocals and slowburn melody, you're missing out on one of the greatest songs – and bands – of the year. — Ben Speggen