Foals: What Went Down

British band unleashes the beast within on its best album yet

Credit: Nabil Elderkin/Getty

U.K. art rockers Foals specialize in arena-size intricacy — anthemic art pop rich with detailed guitar churn, latticed beats and luminous electronics. Their fourth and best album plays up a dark, bracing urgency, especially on the explosive title track, where Yannis Philippakis hollers over low-slung, fuzzed-out riffing and high-octane drum pummel. Songs like "Snake Oil" add funk stomp and blues-metal muscle, suggesting Foals' Oxford, England, homeys Radiohead at their most visceral. "Now that we're older/The future is colder," Philippakis sings on "A Knife in the Ocean," and every song here spins something epic out of that dread.