On “Inhaler,” the lead single from UK math-rockers Foals’ third album, Holy Fire
, the tunesmiths explode in a flurry of distortion and arena-ready riffs. Anchored by bandleader Yannis Philippakis’ usually inaudible croon, during the opener’s climactic chorus, the young singer’s vocal chords sound close to combustion, screaming, “I can’t get enough space,” overtop his band’s pungent walls of reverb. Combining the gothic noodling of Disintegration
-era The Cure (“Everytime”) and slinky funk-punk (“My Number”), Holy Fire
is the culmination of slick studio precision with the realization that sometimes it’s OK to be less cerebral and go aggro.