New Music Review: Foo Fighters; ‘Wasting Light’ (MUSIC VIDEO)
Admit it: garage rock has definitely been missing something since it came back in 2001. What is it again? Oh yeah, rock. Bands like the Strokes, the Kooks and the Kills have been so obsessed with creating the atmosphere of recording in a shithole that, for the most part, they forget to turn up the fuzz and let loose.
This is where the Foo Fighters come in. Their latest album, Wasting Light, was recorded entirely in Dave Grohl’s basement on analog equipment. If the whole thing sounds like a one-off experiment, it’s not: the only question by the end of the record is what the hell took these guys so long. After all, Grohl’s band is one of the (very) few rock outfits left that can debut at Number One, win lots of Grammys and still maintain they haven’t sacrificed their edge, fallen off the face of the earth, or switched up their formula entirely.
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Part of that is due to Grohl himself, who attacks every track with an honesty and power missing from most bands today. Nothing on Wasting Light is as crisp as “The Pretender,” off the Foos’ last record, ‘07’s Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace. But the sweat and tears that went into Wasting Light are much more apparent, and so everything here hits much, much harder.
Ironically, the album’s lack of polish only adds to its character and charm, to say nothing of its impact. Wasting Light is clearly a labor of love, and the little touches shine through amidst the noise. The amp reverbs that open “Miss the Misery” set the tone for the song’s punch, and Grohl’s distorted vocals on “I Should Have Known” suggest him and the Foos performing the song in some abandoned barn before a scattered crowd of the faithful. The only thing that sounds remotely radio-ready is the single, “Rope,” and even that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Sometimes, the garage gimmick gets a little out of control. Grohl’s vocals on “White Limo” are so distorted you can’t even hear them, and the Foos’ approach of attack-attack-attack wears thin by the end. Luckily, at eleven tracks, the album is brisk enough that it doesn’t wear out its welcome.
That is, after all the point of a garage band, right? Show up, play the set, and get outta there before your day job boss realizes you’re gone.
WATCH: Foo Fighters; “Rope”:
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