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Album Review
What Went Down

What Went Down
by Foals

Transgressive / Warner Bros

Review Date
29th September 2015
Reviewed by
Joshua Thomas

During the build up for Foals' latest album, What Went Down, frontman Yannis Philippakis proclaimed it would be “their loudest and heaviest record to date”. While it doesn’t quite live up Yannis' bold declaration, it certainly does take a step in an ardent direction - boasting passioned screaming, yelling and heavier tones similar to 'Inhaler' from 2013’s Holy Fire. This doesn’t last much further than the first few tracks of the album however, as they soon revert back to the very best characteristics the band is known for.

The grandeur and post-rock stylings from their 2010 record Total Life Forever don’t make a complete comeback but certainly fill out the sound at times. Standout tracks include and ‘Albatross’ and ‘Birch Tree’. The latter encompassing all the accessible aspects of Holy Fire combined with the groundbreaking stylings of Total Life Forever featuring a medium tempo bumping and snazzy bassline intertwined with Foals' trademark harmonised guitar leads. The track ‘Snake Oil’ putting the sound we know from Foals on the chopping block, with fuzzy guitar riffs more akin to the likes of The Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys than that of the Foals, but they make it their own. The second half of the album tapers off (with the exception of ‘Snake Oil’) to a more complacent sound.

Foals could have lived up to Yannis’s statements, creating a more aggressive album with a incisive edge, but what they have produced is a equally as admirable: a decisive step in a fresh direction while retaining all the qualities that we have come to expect from the group.


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