I should call this review Everything Not Written Will Be Procrastinated Over for Weeks. I mean, it’s not exactly worthy of a 2 part concept album, but it’s the best I could come up with. Slowness aside, I need to review a Foals album as the person on the Picky B’s team who has been a fan of the band for the shortest time.
The second Foals record of 2019 manages to be a natural follow up to Part 1 and at the same time sound absolutely nothing like it. A bit more raw, a lot more raucous, ‘The Runner’ sets things off as they mean to go on pretty quickly. The obvious ‘hit’ of the record, it feels like the natural culmination of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1’s steady build ups, where it sits as a sort of pay off for anyone who was craving something a bit more immediate.
That idea is heard across much of Part 2’s tracks. ‘Wash Off’ wastes no time at all with it’s catchy as hell guitar riff, building to another ‘Oooh oooh’ hook. Yannis sounds great on moments like this, where the energy of the song really keeps everything heading off at lightning pace. There isn’t much of a let up for the rest of the record either; it takes until closers ‘Into The Surf’ and ‘Neptune’ for things to really slow down.
It’s something that stops Part 2 from reaching the same heights as its predecessor for me, a brand new fan who found the diverse sound and unexpected nature of Part 1 super intriguing. I can appreciate ‘Black Bull’ as an intense fired up rock moment, but that’s so much less interesting to me than the likes of ‘Exits’ and ‘White Onions’ from that album.
Everything is just a lot more straightforward. Lyrically the band remain on the same form as we’d expect, but it’s hard not to feel some truly outstanding moments are missing here. ‘Like Lightning’ is fine, ‘10,000 Feet’ is an enjoyable listen, even ‘Dreaming Of’, which manages to have some of the album’s only light and shade. fails to match the greatest moments on the music we already got this year. Basically nothing here is anywhere near as exciting, memorable. or downright perfect as ‘Sunday’ on Part 1.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 is a rock album, while Part 1 hopped between genres enough to end up as something more alternative. This often feels like a handful of great songs that didn’t make the cut last time, rather than a substantial continuation of an excellent record, which stops it from feeling like the true continuation its early moments tease. Potentially great, but nowhere near as interesting as its predecessor.
Words by Sam Atkins