Foo Fighters

Wasting Light

Written by: PP on 27/04/2011 21:18:54

Hardly anyone serious about music thought Foo Fighters would've been able to write another masterpiece record in the vein of their three 90s albums "Foo Fighters", "The Colour And The Shape", or "There Is Nothing Left To Lose". They have always written excellent alternative rock, better than, say, 99% of the field since their inception, but the last three albums just haven't had the gist, the drive, the Dave Grohl rock star character in the same way as the early records. But as the first samples and teasers from "Wasting Light" began appearing online, it suddenly felt possible that Foo Fighters were about to release a bombshell of an album on the unsuspecting public. And that, my friends, is precisely what they've done with this record, easily their best one in over 11 years, and the first stadium-sized arena rock album that can stand up to the classics in as long as I can remember.

A foreboding, off-tune riff opens the record slowly, with a signature Foo Fighters riff taking over from the background, and then it happens: Dave Grohl returns to his magnificent limitless rock star self with a bombastic "THESE ARE MY FAMOUS LAST WOOOOORDS" scream that underlines what we are to expect from "Wasting Light". All it takes is that one line to command the listener to sit down, shut up and listen up, that's how good Grohl is when he's at his very best. What follows is the uber-catchy lead single "Rope", returning the band to the world of riffs that was in many ways missing from "Echoes..." and its predecessors. Soon After, "Dear Rosemary" displays how to write an amazing rock ballad that isn't cheesy, which about 95% of bands out there could learn something from.

Then comes "White Limo", by and large the heaviest and most aggressive Foo Fighters song to date. We all know how Grohl sometimes takes his charismatic rough singing style to fairly deep and heavy ranges in live performances, but nobody has heard him scream his lungs out as violently as here. Though perhaps one of the least interesting songs on the record, it's still a curious glimpse into the rage that has gone on in the Foo Fighters camp while writing this record. Straight after, it is contrasted starkly by "Arlandria", a catchy rock anthem that's as quintessential Foo Fighters as their songs come with its big, stadium-filling chorus and quiet buildup during the verses.

But the one song that stops me on my tracks on every listen is "These Days", undoubtedly the best song this band has written in almost a decade. It has everything a classic, timeless rock song should have: energy, urgency, and a huge buildup that climaxes into a classic Grohl scream "EASY FOR YOU TO SAY", that continues into one of the catchiest choruses you'll hear this year, guaranteed. Alternative rock just doesn't come any better than this, especially not in such anthemic, stadium-sized form, a place where bands usually sound like they sold out years ago and thus sound generic and soulless instead. It's the kind of standout track that propels an album into multi-platinum sales numbers, the sort of song most bands are never able to write and subsequently fail to pack tens of thousands of people into an arena each night.

Later on, "A Matter Of Time" is another ridiculously memorable track with a big sing-a-long chorus...but really, it's easy to blabber on and on about "Wasting Light" because it's such a good album. It has only a few weak points ("White Limo" and the somewhat anonymous "Miss The Misery"), and way too much to talk about when it comes to excellent songs (let me just drop "Walk" as another brilliant track to consider). Basically, if all your knowledge of Foo Fighters is based on "In Your Honor" ("THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST") or albums from either side of that, "Wasting Light" is going to be the album that'll make you want to check out their entire discography to make sure you haven't missed out on equally brilliant records. If you're a fan, you'll cherish one of the biggest returns-to-form we've witnessed in recent years.

Download: These Days, Bridge Burning, A Matter Of Time, Walk
For the fans of: Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Stone Temple Pilots
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.04.2011
RCA Records

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