Ah, the difficult second album. Foals have always veered between being none-more-credible darlings (they were invited by The Breeders to play ATP last year; indie nirvana for most) and popular mash-up hounds (after soundtracking Skins house parties for what felt like a decade of E4 adverts), but with ‘Total Life Forever’ they’re making a bid to be something else entirely. By now ‘Spanish Sahara’ has made its way around the internet with its Krautrocky pulses and frontman Yannis Philippakis’ ghostly musings, but that’s one of the few remnants of debut ‘Antidotes’. Instead, as the haunting ‘Blue Blood’, the Balearic echo of ‘After Glow’ and ‘2 Trees’’ gossamer-light soundscapes demonstrate, the endless nights spent recording in the Scandinavian darkness with former Clor man Luke Smith have brought out the band’s inner weird. The only coherent thread is Philippakis’ detached, unearthly yawl rather than the clipped yelp he used to employ, but even that is mangled to fit, say, the big-beat onslaught of ‘Miami’ and ‘This Orient’, which sounds like 1,000 calculators hooked up to synths trying to subdivide by infinity all at once. Baffling yet hum-able at the same time, this is the work of a band without a clue where they’re going, and it’s all the stronger for it.