Wasting Light – Foo Fighters

Twenty years ago, the Foo Fighters’ leader Dave Grohl was part of this band called Nirvana that released a little album called Nevermind. While Grohl has been consistently prolific in the two decades since, Foo Fighters’ latest album, Wasting Light, comes the closest to that classic album’s unrelenting energy and behemoth sound.

On Wasting Light the band and Nevermind producer Butch Vig create a wall of sound that’s less Phil Spector and more Red Bull and creatine. It’s epitomized by the albums opening seconds on “Bridge Burning” as anxious guitar clanging quickly kicks into a pure thrill ride of distorted guitar, thundering drums, and Grohl bellows.

From there the band runs through the gamut of awesome hard rockin’ tropes. “Dear Rosemary” features a jerky three-guitar attack of stereophonic glory, made possible by guitarist Pat Smear has once again joining the Foo. On “White Limo” Ghrol screams like he’s trying to destroy his vocal chords as the music thrashes in a way that would make punks with patches sewn into their jackets proud. Taylor Hawkins’s accent assault on the cymbal during “Rope” (especially the tight chattering in the chorus) give the song a flavor not typical in hard rock.

Even the tunes that start slow, light, and uplifting like “Walk” can’t seem to help themselves, turning into huge powerful rock out sessions by the end. All the time, Grohl remains ever the practical, populist lyricist; one who won’t blow anyone away with his phrase crafting but who understands the power of a big chorus.

On what is easily their best effort since There Is Nothing Left to Lose (possibly since The Colour and the Shape), Foo Fighters have distilled the core of rock into eleven tracks to blare at earsplitting volumes. If you were taked with explaining what rock music is to someone who had never been exposed to it before, Wasting Light would be the perfect modern album to play for them.

Review Score: 8.7

*Expanded from a review in The Pacific Northwest Inlander*

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  1. […] Wasting Light – Foo […]


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