Foo Fighters: 'Wasting Light'
Released on Monday, Apr 11 2011
Published Monday, Apr 11 2011, 15:50 BST
| By Mayer Nissim |
Last week saw many, including us here at DS
, paying our respects to Kurt Cobain on the anniversary of his death. 17 years on, some still may call Foo Fighters
frontman Dave Grohl "the drummer from Nirvana", but it's fair to say that he long, long
ago shrugged off that unkind dismissal. Perhaps that's why he's felt free enough to hook up with Nevermind
producer Butch Vig to helm this release, and even invited Nirvana's Krist Novoselic on to guest on bass and accordion on one track. So, does Vig's presence make Wasting Light
anything more than Just Another Foo Fighters Album, and will this win over some new fans to attend those bleedin' massive stadium shows?Lead single 'Rope' is a great example of what this record's all about - marrying that classic Foo Fighters melody with that harder - but still polished - Vig edge (despite the talk of wimpifying the Nirvana sound, Nevermind was hardly easy listening!). So it's massive, Pumpkin-sized riffs, smooth vocals, stop-start verses and, of course, a big hands-in-the-air-stadium chorus.That hard-rockingness is the main theme of the record and sometimes it really pays off. Opener 'Bridge Burning' powers out of the trap with more energy than it has any right to. 'Dear Rosemary' features indie icon Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü/Sugar) and some of his rough-edged charm definitely rubs off. 'Arlandia' is the real standout, the lyrics combining their nursery rhyme rhythm with a few neat punches ("Use me up, spit me out /Let me be your hand-me-down").Recorded on analogue tape in Groh's garage by Butch Vig, with mixing from Alan 'noisy' Moulder, this sounds pretty much like you'd expect. Some moments are harder than others, like the almost screamcore, Deftones-esque 'White Limo'. Some are more considered, like the twiddly arpeggiated chords of 'These Days'.At a brief 11 tracks, it's tricky to guess what the next single or two will be... having given it a shoutout in our own DS playlist, we'd of course opt for 'Alrandria'. We're also keen on 'Miss The Misery', which somehow sounds epic despite only clocking in at four and a half minutes.
Being the intentionally-stripped-down-garage-rocker, Wasting Light
powers along quite well for the most part. There's plenty of emotion, not least in the Nirvana reunion of 'I Should Have Known'. It's a slab of ballady remorse/attack which, to our ears at least, could only be aimed at one person. ("I should have known/ There was no other way/ Didn't hear your warning/ Damn my heart on it... No I cannot forgive you yet"). But despite the admirable energy and drive, the mind still begins to wander long before you reach the end. Grohl's voice still has that distinctive-yet-anonymous twang that just fails to win us over. Foo fans will love it, but I doubt they'll be rubbing shoulders with any new faces in the stadiums next year.What do you think of the new Foo Fighters album? Let us know in the space below.