With four months left in a long, tumultuous and rapidly deteriorating decade, you’d be churlish not to look back and consider which bands and artists have made the biggest impact in The Tens.
If you want to talk bands of the decade, you can’t possibly avoid talking about Foals. Our favourite Mathletes set an early artistic benchmark with 2008’s Antidotes, and have gone to smash that benchmark with every album that followed. And if their activity in 2019 is anything to go by, they will absolutely be roaring well into the twenties.
With the release of Black Bull, the lead single from their second album of 2019, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Pt.2, the followup to Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, er, Pt.1, Foals are showing they have the audacity and the brass neck to release two solid albums in the space of one calendar year.
The standout theme in Black Bull is that it’s much heavier than the fare from Pt. 1. Pt. 1 was incredibly dance-y, and the overall chilled-out feel to it made it a fantastic album, and the perfect summertime record. Yes, you can dance to Black Bull, but you might find the dance floor being turned into a moshpit before too long. Whilst Pt.1 was no slouch, Pt.2 will no doubt bring a substantially larger amount of beef than its predecessor.
Black Bull rolls like thunder. The intro is gently plucked, but you can feel the atmosphere thicken with every beat. Storm’s a comin’, and Foals will rain down upon you. At this point, your best hope is to get the washing in and strap in as the song kicks in, and comes in like a bull in the china shop. The colour of said bull? Impossible to say.
The riff is classic Foals, fuzz dripping like the first spots of rain, coming as if thunder was made from fine silk. Though unique in its sound, Black Bull comes from the same blueprint as tracks like Providence and What Went Down from albums of days gone by. A snarling attack on the senses, layer upon layer of heavy guitar, filling the air.
Lyrically, it’s what you expect from Foals, total sense and complete ambiguity at the same time. The chorus leaves the biggest mark and sounds out the message for the next phase: “We’re not playing around // The black bull is in town”. With Pt.2 set to come out in October, just months after Pt. 1 came out, Foals aren’t here to play around; they’re here to run through the musical China shop and leave nothing behind.