Foo Fighters

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

Con­crete and Gold (Sony) ★★★★ Over their 23-year life­span, Foo Fighters have turned into a jug­ger­naut, ris­ing from Nir­vana’s ashes into ar­guably Amer­ica’s big­gest rock and roll band. Quite some feat. Yet there have been times when they’ve al­most be­come a by­word for cor­po­rate rock and roll; to­tally un­fair, of course, but at times they’ve played it a lit­tle safe, a lit­tle too com­fort­able. Con­crete and Gold doesn’t di­verge greatly from the gen­eral Foo Fighters modus operandi of loud gui­tars, pop hooks and Dave Grohl’s ex­citable screams. But there’s some­thing ex­tra go­ing on here. In a re­cent in­ter­view, Grohl said he was aim­ing for ‘‘Mo­tor­head’s ver­sion of Sgt. Pep­per’s… or some­thing like that,’’ and while it’s not quite that out there he’s still put to­gether some­thing flow­ing, imag­i­na­tive and pow­er­ful. The al­bum’s chang­ing shape is on dis­play from the get-go. Gen­tly fin­ger­picked opener T-Shirt — with Grohl’s re­frain ‘‘I don’t wanna be king, I just wanna sing love songs’’ — ex­plodes into clas­sic Foos rocker Run. Make it Right chugs along with a de­light­fully sleazy groove, car­ry­ing over to La Dee Da and its fuzzy bass open­ing. Hap­pily Ever Af­ter has shades of the Bea­tles (per­haps due to Paul McCart­ney’s guest ap­pear­ance on the al­bum), and the ti­tle track is rem­i­nis­cent of Pink Floyd in their pomp. High­light Dirty Wa­ter starts off as a melodic break in pro­ceed­ings, but soon builds into a pow­er­fully ir­re­sistible groove. Con­crete and Gold is the rau­cous sound of a band cut­ting loose. And what a sound it is. – Jack Bar­low

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