Foo Fighters rock back to form
The first thing Foo Fighters fans need to know about Wasting Light – the band’s seventh album that was unveiled early in New Zealand thanks to last month’s Christchurch benefit concert – is that it rocks. Hard.
Nearly every song is smothered with the same kind of grunty hooks and raw anger that made 1997’s classic Foos record The Colour and the Shape, and signature hit Monkey Wrench, such compelling listening. Check out the awesome feedback blitz that sees Wasting Light’s first single Rope out to its thrilling close, the Nirvana-esque opening to A Matter of Time or the pure garage-metal thrills of White Limo and nod your head and raise your devil horns in approval.
Fans have three things to thank for this startling return to form: Nirvana producer Butch Vig, here working with Grohl for the first time since Nirvana’s Nevermind; guitarist Pat Smear, who has returned to the Foos’ fold for the first time since The Colour and the Shape; and the fact that this was recorded in Dave Grohl’s garage.
The Foos feel right at home and Wasted Light is also a masterclass in tight, sharp rock songwriting that sees Grohl and the boys shedding some of the baggage that made recent albums a little long and overbearing.
In Your Honor, the Foos’ double-disc record from 2005, we’re looking at you.
Tracks like Bridge Burning and Dear Rosemary don’t muck about at getting straight
by the Foo Fighters. to the point, These Days and Back & Forth are the sort of festival-friendly songs you can imagine being sung in unison by thousands of drunk fans.
Then there’s album highlight Arlandria, a swirling medley of Guitar Hero riffs and Grohl’s snarling vocals that would sound great whether being played on your ipod or in Vector Arena. ‘‘Please play at maximum volume’’ demands the album’s cover, and it’s advice worth listening to.
‘‘ I never want to die,’’ screams Grohl during the album’s closing moments. When your band is in this kind of form, why the hell would you? Long may rock king Dave Grohl live.
GRUNTY HOOKS: Wasting Light