logan j. fowler breaks out of his Green Day music mold with a breakdown of the Foo Fighters’ new album …
In today’s over-saturated mainstream world of rap, auto-tuning, synthesized pop, and all the things are not considered “authentic,” Dave Grohl and his cohorts are pretty much flipping the bird to the Top 40 artists of today and demonstrating in their own way that rock ‘n’ roll is very much alive and well.
In their seveth studio album, Wasting Light, the Foo Fighters aim for more hard rock and a less acoustic sound that we found a balance on in their previous album Echoes, Silence, Patience, And Grace. Wasting Light has a great sound and grows on you. Recorded entirely in Grohl’s garage on analogue (read: no digital) tape, the album has a raw quality that showcases the band’s talent, and also provides a style that is something not “run of the mill” in this day’s musical age.
For this review, I gave each track a listen, and did a breakdown of all of them.
The first, “Bridge Burning,” makes it clear that the band has not gotten soft in their musical stylings. Grohl screams his lungs out a near minute into the track, giving the album a much needed liftoff to hook the listener. For me, it totally did. I kept listening to this song on repeat as soon as I got the album.
A solid opener, indeed.
The follow up to track one, “Rope,” also the first single, is a rock song on the softer side compared to “Bridge Burning.” The track placement is a steady one, as it balances out the overall sound of the album, but as a first single, “Rope” did not grab me the same way “The Pretender” did, so one wonders as why it was chosen, but maybe it was because it left fans to discover better tracks on the album, which as you’ll read in this review, are many.
“Dear Rosemary,” evokes memories of The Raconteurs’ “Steady As She Goes,” with a very similar beat. There is also a touch of Bruce Springsteen, so for anyone who likes all three of these acts, you are sure to be right at home with this track.
“White Limo” is probably the loudest tune on the album, more along the lines of a metal sound, especially for this band. Grohl’s lyrics are unrecognizable, but in a live crowd, this song would rank among the best for a mosh pit. if you catch my drift. The solo is totally air-guitar worthy.
“Arlandria” is catchy, and it wavers back and forth between loud and soft rock, with a great buildup between those two modes, showcasing Grohl’s awesome soft vocals and leading into his hard-rock vibe. The man can balance it out like nothing.
“These Days” is a tune that will be played for those who have just had their heart crushed, or a will be track that is revisited for the angry young souls who remember how they were mistreated in the past by someone. Grohl and the band doesn’t go too heavy here with the anger or amplitude; instead they find a nice ground in quiet melody which raises to a louder (but never overwhelming) sound. I would call this song the unofficial sequel to “Best Of You.”
“Back And Forth” is probably the catchiest track on the album, as its melody would be perfect for a drive with the window open on a summer day. The guitar rhythm is a little weird (during “you’ve got a lot of nerve” bit), but despite that, it’s a song that will get stuck in your head, and I would be justified in thinking it would be one of the singles from the album in the future.
The next track “A Matter Of Time,” is with tune with a speedy guitar, but, it’s the first track on the album that I kind of said “meh” to. You may enjoy it, but I just couldn’t get into it. Following that, “Miss The Misery” picks up the pace, as Grohl sings lines like “Been waiting all your life your wish is coming true/Bless your heart for beating me right out of you.” Even in the seventh album, Grohl’s lyrics are vastly poetic, which is something fans can appreciate, especially in a song like this.
“I Should Have Known” opens with a violin and a distant-sounding Grohl. It is believed that this is the song that Grohl wrote for Nirvana’ s frontman, Kurt Cobain. Grohl was the drummer for the grunge band before Cobain took his own life, ultimately leaving Grohl in shock, even so many years later. Fittingly, Nirvana’s third member, Krist Novoselic, guests on the track, playing bass and accordion. (The album, to boot, was produced by Butch Vig, the man who helmed Nirvana’s masterpiece, Nevermind, 20 years ago.)
The final track, “Walk,” sounds a little bit like “She’s So High,” the ’90s hit by Tal Bachman. In any case, amongst all the anger of the album, Grohl finally gets optimistic. It’s a solid tune for the album to end on, as songs previous were relating to heartbreak, burning bridges, and death, but as Wasting Light concludes, the listener hears positive vibes: “I believe I’ve waited long enough/Where do I begin?”
“I believe I’ve waited long enough.” No line could perfectly sum up how I felt biding my time between Echoes, Silence, Patience, And Grace and Wasting Light. It’s been three years too long between albums.
I really dug Wasting Light. It is very impressive that this band can still rock so hard and so well on their seventh album. Seems like these guys just get better with time. Let’s just hope it’s not a three-year wait to their next album.