Back in 2008, while Vampire Weekend were treating Afrobeat like a personal legacy handed down by Paul Simon, Foals were taking similar influences but filtering them through post-punk and rave to create Antidotes, an album that was all about texture and rhythm, repeated patterns and exuberantly jagged edges.

That energy spilled over into 2010's Total Life Forever, although a stronger set of songs emerged from the style, as the Oxford quintet made music for the heart as well as the head.

Holy Fire now sees them rely less on punk, more on funk.

Loading article content

There are tracks here that are recognisably pop, even if the arrangements and certain guitar treatments are not the chart norm.

Frontman Yannis Philippakis sounds unexpectedly soulful on Late Night and has clearly set out to write tunes that are easier for a wider audience to latch onto. Inhaler is a case in point: with the falsetto funk of its verse and the howling rock of its chorus, it's as if Foals are knowingly placing themselves on the festival main stage between Friendly Fires and Kasabian.

The rhythmic intensity of old has slackened, and there's a whiff of commercial compromise in the air.