First of all, I would like to thank all who voted in my poll for the next album to be reviewed. Secretly I was really hoping that Foo Fighters would win. I’m sure it won’t matter to most, but if you wanted to see something else reviewed, vote in the poll next time.
There are a few bands out there who I will buy absolutely any and every album they put out. A lot of that has to do with fond memories of their early albums. Foo Fighters is definitely one of those bands. I remember thinking they were okay when they first came out, but I also remember calling my good friend Jim the first time I head the song “Monkey Wrench”. I was in my punk rock or nothing stage, so it really blew me away to hear a song on the radio like that. “The Colour and the Shape” is still an amazing album to me, and I always love to still pop it in now and then. However, there was never an album that could really live up to that album for me. I enjoyed some of their later releases, and I always made sure to purchase them and support them no matter how much or little I enjoyed the music. In fact, the only album I don’t own is their greatest hits album. When you own everything else by them, why buy a greatest hits album? It certainly wasn’t for the almost country song they released to try to sell it. Therefore, I was extremely happy when I picked up this latest release.
There are a few tell-tale signs of good things on this record before you even take a listen. First of all, Dave Grohl decided to take this one “back to the roots”. Therefore they decided to record this on in Grohl’s garage. Of course, as my coworker pointed out, this is probably still a very very nice garage. However, I think another huge thing is the fact that they brought back Pat Smear. Smear was with Grohl at the end of Nirvana as a touring guitarist and then was recruited by Grohl to start Foo Fighters. So it is bringing back some of that old chemistry. Of course, Smear looks like the Frankenstein monster, so he does bring down the beauty factor a few points. You’ll clearly notice Smear here at the end of the line of dirty rock stars in the picture to the right.
“Wasting Ligh”t brings everything I love in the Foo Fighters to the table. This album starts out with a kick in the teeth. First, there is a very jarring guitar line playing the same riff over and over again until the other two guitars join in. Finally the vocals come in with Grohl’s signature scream. The first two songs on the album are a nice mix of up beat rock songs and crazy screamed vocals. “White Limo” is one of the songs that really sticks out on the album for me. Personally, I think I’d probably say it’s one of my least favorite songs on the record. Here Grohl spend a lot of time doing the singing in his screechy scream/sing voice. He of course is one of the few people I know who can really do this type of vocal really well, but I just don’t think there is enough variety to the song. I love how Foo Fighters can go from their rock sound to have Grohl scream out a line or two. This song is a whole lot of screaming at once.
By far my favorite two songs on the album are “Walk” and “Back and Forth”. These are some of the more low-key songs on the album, but they have some really really catchy hooks on the chorus. “Back and Forth” is a more fun song seeming to revolve around Grohl telling someone they need to grow a spine and talk about something. On the other hand, “Walk” is the final song on the album. It comes in really slow and seemingly very reflective. Grohl sings out, “Learning to walk again, I believe I’ve waited long enough, where to do I begin”, before the rest of band chimes in on the song. However, it has a great part midway through the song where Grohl breaks back into his scream for a few lines. The whole song, and album, flow really well together. The album has just the right amount of both low-key and up beat songs. Even when you think they are giving you something really quiet and reflective, Grohl will still break in and scream a line or two.
The music is all really solid and well put together as well. The guitars have an extremely full sound to them. It could help that they are playing with three guitars full time now that Smear was brought back into the fold. Taylor Hawkins is given leeway to play with some great drum fills as well. The song “Rope” (which is also the single) has some really fun drum fills to it about halfway through.
All in all, I think Foo Fighters have made one of the best records they have made in years. To me, no album has really lived up to “The Colour and the Shape”; however, I finally think an album has a really good chance to do that. This has been on constant repeat on my Ipod ever since I got it. If you were scared off by any of the past albums the Foo Fighters have done in the past few years, now is the time to look them back up. They have made a solid record that I can’t put down. There isn’t a single song on this record I would skip. Get this album!
Teacher Grade: A+
Now enjoy their single “Rope”