Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time not wasted on Wasting Light

Much has been made of the fact that the Foo Fighters 7th disc is stripped-down - recorded in Dave's garage - a disc borne of simple guitars/amps/drums/vocals and raw power.  Suffice to say this approach works and results in one of the best discs they've released in a long time.

Even with micro-sculpting producer extraordinaire Butch Vig at the boards, this album has a fierce, gritty quality missing from many of the Foos' earlier releases.  Straight from the scream-intro of "These are my famous last WORRRRDS!!!!" you get pulled along at 90 mph by this disc.  Even when they slow down a little (the stately "Dear Rosemary" or the well-paced "Back & Forth" are fine examples) - the crunch and power still crackles beneath the surface.

The perfect middle ground of the sledgehammer rock and the ballad is the yearning "Arlandria" - further proof that rock and roll can still have a soft side and a rough side all in one song, and still sound amazing.

Even more impressive is how this album transcends the back and forth (pardon the pun) the Foos' have traded in since their inception.  Their debut was straight up early 90's grunge, delivered in the shadows of Nirvana's demise after Cobain's death.  Each successive album played with this formula only slightly.  They tweaked it each time out, maybe using a shinier production, but overall the sound was not quite as interesting because the echoes of the grunge era rang out in every track.  Here they cast off those echoes and make a truly accomplished rock and roll album - straight up, no gloss, no buffed to a sheen chords, just raw and honest rock music.

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