British quintet Foals exploded into the mainstream consciousness with the release of third full-length “Holy Fire” in 2013. It’s a richly atmospheric gathering of tunes that found the lads moving away from their math-rock past with terrific results. Fourth album “What Went Down” has Foals continuing in the same sonic direction and the intensity never wanes.
This 10-track, 49-minute slab is my favorite by the band to date and Yannis Phillipakis has emerged as a legitimately terrific rock ‘n’ roll frontman. The title track is flat-out fantastic and is the perfect way to kick off “What Went Down.” Foals additionally impress on “Mountain at My Gates,” “Albatross,” “Night Swimmers,” “Lonely Hunter” and set closer “A Knife in the Ocean.”
Foals have been headlining fixtures on the United Kingdom festival scene in recent years — drawing huge crowds at Bestival, Latitude and Parklife — and it seems just a matter of time until they’re enjoying similar success stateside. If you have yet to discover this talented young band, “What Went Down” serves as a first-rate introduction. (Jeffrey Sisk)