For a long time (since about 1997) I’ve called myself a Foo Fighters fan. Actually, I’ve been a fan of most of, if not all of, Dave Grohl’s projects. BUT, in the past few years, I’ve found my love for the Foos waning. I didn’t mind 2005’s In Your Honour and 2007’s Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace was ok.
But that’s the problem…these albums from a band I once adored were just ok, passable, listenable. I loved the early Foo Fighters records because they had grunt and edge and big ass guitars mixed in with cutesy pop songs and melodic ballads. I get that Dave was experimenting with more acoustic ballady stuff and grandiose musical landscapes, and that’s cool. Go ahead. I just prefer my Foo Fighters with the volume turned up to 11.
So on the weekend, I bought the Foos new album Wasting Light, admittedly with mixed emotions. I’d heard good things. Really good things. The album was recorded in Dave’s garage. Husker Du’s Bob Mould was contributing vocals (being a big Husker Du fan, this particular piece of news got me pretty excited). Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic was a guesting bassist. Ex-Foo, Pat Smear was back on guitar. The band were going back to their ‘rock roots’. The album was being produced by Butch Vig. All great things! But still, I was hesitant.
Anyways, I’ve listened to the record four or five times now and…it’s good! It’s actually really good. The opening track Bridge Burning is a real return to form with big ass guitars, memorable riffs and Dave’s classic rock vocals. White Limo is fast and pulsing with distorted vocals and almost sounds like a track from Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs for the Deaf. Bob Mould’s back-up vocals make the track Dear Rosemary and I don’t think the song would be nearly as good without his contribution. There are also a couple of songs that sounds like classic Foo Fighters songs, like These Days and Arlandria.
Overall, it’s a very solid album from one of the biggest rock bands around. It’s a return to form for the Foo Fighters and is probably their best album since There Is Nothing Left to Lose…possibly even since The Colour and The Shape. I’m keen for their next tour now!