Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
Foo Fighters have been one of my favorite bands since I saw them open for Mike Watt before their first album was even released. But over their past two albums, they had kind of reached a point where the singles were good, but the rest of the albums were a little too close to MOR classic rock for my tastes. I never even got around to buying Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, which is something considering what a completest I normally am. Although the news of them working with producer Butch Vig (who you might remember also produced a little known album by Dave Grohl's old band) was encouraging, he had also done the two new tracks on for their Greatest Hits album, and "Wheels" left me kind of empty.
Then in February one of my friends sent me a link to the Foos website, which had a 30 second preview of "Bridge Building," and I've got to say, it definitely got me paying attention. That song opens Wasting Light, and pretty much sets the tone for what's to come... an almost unrelenting wall of hard rock and crunching guitars. It's not that they've suddenly stopped writing hooks, but the songs are backed by a much harder edge than they've had recently. Part of that can be attributed to the return to full time status of Pat Smear, which means most of the songs have at least three guitarists on them, and on songs like "Rope," it allows for three distinct simultaneous guitar parts. And when there are only two parts, like on "White Limo," there is a lot more OOMPH. Basically this is the hardest the Grohl has rocked since his Probot side project, and the best Foo Fighters album since their sophomore effort, Colour & The Shape. Call it a welcome return to form.
I'll also warn you that buying the Best Buy exclusive expanded version is pretty much a waste of money. The remix of "Rope" is unlistenable for most rock fans, and the other track, "Better Off," is hardly essential. So unless you like owning videos that are otherwise available on Youtube, save a couple of bucks and just buy the standard edition.