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Guest Review: The New Foo Fighters

James Christopher Sheppard reviews
Wasting Light
by Foo Fighters

Teaming up with Nirvana’s Nevermind producer and Garbage founder, Butch Vig, the Foo Fighters return with their seventh studio album, Wasting Light. The reunion between Grohl and Vig comes exactly twenty years after they last worked together on what resulted in being one of the biggest and most influential albums of the 1990s, the aforementioned Nevermind. Last studio album, 2007’s Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, was a UK #1, which furthered the band’s impressive portfolio of Top Ten long-players that currently stands at eight. Following a wait of almost four years, this release is one of the most eagerly awaited of the bands career.

‘Bridge Burning’
Destined to be a new rock classic, second single from the album, ‘Bridge Burning’ is a fast paced soaring lion’s roar of a single. With some great guitar effects on the intro, it progresses into a well-crafted thrashing melodic rock song, with a healthy balance of growling, screaming and singing. Angry and awesome.

First single, ‘Rope’ continues the momentum, but is far less angry. This builds from a sound that is typically Foo Fighters into an intricately complex track, executed effortlessly.

‘Dear Rosemary’
Emotive and a change in tempo, ‘Dear Rosemary’ displays a softer side to Growl’s vocals and softer music that builds as the song progresses. This sounds a cross between The Pixies and Tenacious D, which isn’t particularly a bad thing.

‘White Limo’
Woah! Thrusting the tempo back up, this is the most Nevermind friendly track so far, but only in that it’s as heavy as ‘Territorial Pissings’. With an impressive scream/growl throughout, Grohl shows us he can still deliver a punch, or ten, directly to your ears. Nice.

Not too heavy, but with a good amount of punch, this is an obvious radio choice, with the memorable hook ‘You and what army, Arlandria?’ being repeated throughout. This is lyrically brilliantly crafted and could potentially be a massive hit.

‘These Days’
‘One of these days I bet your heart will be broken’ Grohl belts on the chorus of this vengeful song. Grohl’s voice sounds incredibly soft in places, which provides a great interaction between the soft and harsh aspects.

‘Back and Forth’
This recalls the sound of some of the Foo’s best-known hits, like ‘Learn to Fly’. Clearly they haven’t lost their touch, ‘Back and Forth’ is a rock standard and, no doubt, soon to be a fan favourite. The bounce bridge ‘you’ve got a lot of nerve’ is especially addictive.

‘A Matter of Time’
The contrasting heavy riff and sweet melody on this track create one of the best moments on the whole album. Fresh, but not straying too far from the sound that the band have spent the past 17 years establishing as their own, this is a great achievement.

‘Miss the Misery’
Destined to be a stadium anthem, ‘Miss the Misery’ has an old school rock element to it, which is exceptionally refreshing to hear in 2011. Best played loud.

‘I Should Have Known’
The album’s solitary ballad, this is powerful and incredibly emotive. Grohl’s voice conveys raw emotion here better than anywhere else on the album. The orchestral approach adds a whole new dimension to the Foo Fighter’s sound. ‘No I can not forgive you yet’ Grohl bellows out in despair. Deep, striking and beautiful, this is possibly the best track on the album.

Already a fan favourite, ‘Walk’ is a brilliant choice of conclusion for this impressive collection. With great lyrics, this is another highly emotive track. ‘I never wanna leave, I never wanna die’ is the message here- a sentiment that will certainly sit well with a lot of listeners who are rocking out to this anthem. Brilliant song.

A cohesive collection of work, Wasting Light is the sound of an established band playing to their strengths and keeping it fresh. On first listen, fans and new listeners to the band will be very pleased they purchased the album, as they will surely still be listening to it for years to come. Wasting Light is a triumphant album for the Foo Fighters and rock music in general.  Wasting Light is available now on RCA.

James Christopher Sheppard is a London based freelance writer. For more of his music journalism, poetry and blogging, visit his website Intellectual Intercourse.

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