Total Life Forever (Sub Pop)

Rating: NNNN

Having been let down so many times by promising indie bands that trip up on album number two (cough, cough, the Strokes, Bloc Party), I now approach sophomore efforts with trepidation. Fans of Antidotes, the fabulous 2008 debut by Foals, needn’t worry. Total Life Forever accomplishes what the best follow-ups do.


The math-inflected UK band demonstrates creative growth, exploring warmer, more natural sounds on After Glow and the Radioheadesque 2 Trees, while vocalist Yannis Philippakis no longer shout-sings every line. The band wisely retains the elements that worked the first time: intricate, jittery guitars, driving bass and creative rhythms, best displayed on the title track and Black Gold.

Top track: This Orient

Foals play Lee’s Palace September 27.

Brand Voices

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