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Foo Fighters' lucky
Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
Review by Tony BonyataYou gotta hand it to Dave Grohl. After stepping out from behind the drumkit of one of the biggest bands of the '90s (that would be Nirvana, kids), he took center stage with guitar in hand to create his own wildly successful band, Foo Fighters - one of the most popular rock acts since the smell of teen spirit dissipated after Nirvana' fountainhead Kurt Cobain ended his own short life back in '94.
Seventeen years after forming, and a lengthy four years since their last full-length effort, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Foo Fighters are back with their seventh studio album, Wasting Light; a hard-hitting, hook-filled return-to-form. On it Grohl is joined by lead guitarist Chris Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer Taylor Hawkins (for my money the best rock drummer out there today). Also re-entering the fold as a full-time member is guitarist Pat Smear, who was not only Nirvana's guitarist during their final year, but also the Foo's guitarist from their inception until Smear's departure in '97. As if Smear's appearance isn't enough to stir up nostalgia, Nirvana's bassist Krist Novoselic also lends a hand (bass and accordion on the track "I Should Have Known" ) and the whole album was produced by Butch Vig (who not only helmed the boards for the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth and his own band Garbage, but also the quintessential album that would usher in the Grunge era of the '90s - Nirvana's Nevermind).
At first glance, with all the familiar faces from Grohl's past lending a helping hand here, it may sound like a trip down memory lane, but it's anything but. Wasting Light is packed tight with some of the band's most volatile, yet melodic and catchy songs to date (standing head-to-head with arguably their strongest work to date, 1997's The Colour and the Shape). The album kicks-off with the memorable punch of "Dear Rosemary" a muscular number that also features Husker Du's frontman Bob Mould on guitar and backing vocals, and continues to steamroll through with the angular blast of "Rope," "Arlandria," "Matter of Time" and the bold and beautiful "These Days."
Well known for his love of heavy metal (see his 2004 Probot side project), Grohl and company also blitzkrieg their way through the unhinged and unapologetic metal screamer "White Limo," yet go onto offset this over-the-top heaviness with more heartfelt, yet still virile numbers such as "Walk," "I Should Have Known" and "Miss The Misery," which also features The Tubes' frontman Fee Waybill on backing vocals.
Nearly two decades after their inception, Foo Fighters - perhaps the first band of the new millennium to give the term "arena rock" a good name - sound not only rejuvenated but also like they're just getting started.
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