Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Growling, heavy, punky goodness from the constantly entertaining Foos
It’s impossible to talk about a ‘return to form’ when it comes to the Foo Fighters, they’re one of rock’s most consistently steady and constantly entertaining acts. They’ve never had a genuine down-turn. Dave Grohl’s (almost) outgrown the Nirvana legacy, he’s dabbled with Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Tenacious D, Probot, Killing Joke, The Prodigy and Slash. But he always returns to the Foos, moulding them into one of the biggest rock acts in the world. Always instantly accessible but always packing a punch.
For Wasting Light they’ve stripped it back, recorded everything in Grohl’s garage on analogue and mixed by Butch Vig. You can feel the hunger; you can tell this still means something, the music is still key, not the money, the adoration, the fame.
Like most Foos albums it’s frontloaded. ‘Burning Bridge’ is a powerful opener, a rush of guitar rich growling goodness; ‘Rope’ is the perfect lead single, impossible to ignore, packed with huge chunky guitar hooks; ‘Dear Rosemary’ a collaboration with Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü) slows the pace but ‘White Limo’ kicks everything’s arse, a heavy, punky Queens of the Stone Age rampage.
Then you hit a lull. It’s not that these are bad songs, just not as good. You’re left frothing at the mouth after ‘White Limo’, so the muscular ‘Arlandia’ can’t help but suffer by comparison; ‘These Days’ is Foos by the numbers an identikit assembly of quiet verse and loud chorus (but that’s no bad thing) then it coasts through the fun but forgettable ‘Back & Forth’, ‘A Matter of Time’ and ‘Miss the Misery’.
However things really pick up at the end, the reunion with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic on ‘I Should Have Known’ packs real emotion, not just because of the weight of history but because it’s a brilliant song that builds and builds. Finally ‘Walk’ is the perfect sign off, you can almost hear the chorus being chanted in stadiums and festival fields across the globe already.