Review: Foo Fighters, Wasting Light

Unusually for an album by one of the biggest bands on the planet, the hype around this album hasn’t been of the expected quantity. Since 2002’s ‘One By One’ the Foo’s have enjoyed massive advertising campaigns on TV, radio and in print. But their seventh studio album ‘Wasting Light’ has received little of the same treatment.

However this album is a huge return to hard rocking form after the much more considered ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace’, released in 2007, which contained a lot of slow-paced filler (a possible hangover from the acoustic disc that made up half of 2005’s ‘In Your Honour’) in my eyes.

In fact, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that this is their heaviest album since their first, self-titled album back in 1997 and their most consistent set of songs since 1999’s ‘The Colour And The Shape’. This could be due to the reappearance of Pat Smear who left the band in 1997 much to the near ruin of the band due to tensions between Chris Shiflett (Smear’s replacement) who now has to share guitar duties with Smear and Grohl.

The album features many powerhouse tunes with a much more stripped back feel than recent albums, including Rope, the first single, and the heaviest song on a Foo’s album ever in the shape of ‘White Limo’ with Grohl trading off distorted shouted vocals with Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü and Sugar.

The mid section of the album get s a bit more mellow with ‘These Days’ which rehashes the Foo Fighters’ trademark songwriting formula of mellow verses with loud, heavy, virtually screamed choruses. ‘Back & Forth’ is possibly the most commercial of the songs on the album and ‘A Matter Of Time’ is the most minimal sounding and closest to being the weakest song here. But, this being the case, it’s still a catchy tune even if it could have had a minute shaved off it somewhere to save on the repetition.

The heaviness gets slowly cranked back up at this point with ‘Miss The Misery’ before being toned back down briefly for the beginning of the tragic, angst-ridden ‘I Should Have Known’ (featuring Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic on bass and accordion) which slowly builds up into an unstoppable wall of sound. ‘Wasting Light’ rounds off with ‘Walk’, a true stadium anthem in the making, bringing the album back to a suitably loud crescendo.

This is the best album Foo Fighters have produced in a very long time; looks like the last four years off have done the band some good.

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One Response to “Review: Foo Fighters, Wasting Light”

  1. Jo Williams Says:

    ‘Rope’ is a return to the familiar old skool Foos. But really: just how diverse can a band get before they end up returning to their provincial roots?

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