Over the last decade, very few of the 90s rock bands have stuck around. For every Linkin Park, there’s three or four Alien Ant Farms. But no band has stayed at the top of its game longer and better than David E. Grohl and the Foo Fighters.
The seventh album under the Foo Fighters’ name, “Wasting Light,” strays from their usual sound, but reaches the same result – near perfection.
With the addition of on-again, off-again guitarist Pat Smear to the lineup this go-around, the sound is heavier and ballsier, with the third guitar taking the album to uncharted territory. Gone are the radio-ready hooks and in its place is one more set of power chords to shatter your eardrums.
The most potentially alarming difference comes from the quality of recording equipment. In this day and age, music has never come in clearer, but in order to capture the dirty, distorted sound Grohl wanted, old-school analog equipment and Grohl’s garage were all Butch Vig needed to produce this insta-classic.
And while the sound may have changed, the result is still the same. “Wasting Light” keeps the Foo Fighters at rock-god status.
The first sounds of the album on the song “Bridge Burning” are a little off-key but once the song picks up and the three guitars intertwine, the song takes off. With one mighty Grohl roar, the Foo Fighters are back on top.
On the most retro songs on the album, Dave and Co. let the fans feel right at home.
The first single off the album, “Rope” was a strong choice to lead out for the band. A sort of a hybrid of the band’s old and new sounds, it doesn’t shock listeners too much but gives insight as to what’s in store.
The quintessential Foo Fighters’ hook and famous Nirvana-esque stop and go rhythm capture the new direction for the Foo Fighters.
The other single released before the album, “White Limo,” is definitely the most adventurous song on the new album. Grohl’s signature scream is distorted and used throughout the majority of it. Compared to the rest of the album, it isn’t anything to write home about and is the toughest song to sit through on the album, but by no means is it bad. The instrumentation is second to none.
Drummer Taylor Hawkins has come a long way since drumming for Alanis Morissette and has cemented himself at the top of the drumming game. “White Limo” is the must-catch track for drummers on the disc.
The can’t-miss song on the album is “Walk.” Grohl’s rasp over droning guitars sends listeners to another planet.
The last album, albeit the most complete work on the Foo Fighters’ part, lacked a song that truly captured the Foo Fighters’ existence like “Times Like These,” “Best of You” and “Everlong” have in the past. “Walk” steps into that mold.
All in all, Grohl never misses with anything else he’s touched. And this is no exception.
As someone who’s waited over a year for this album, I am far from disappointed. The Foo Fighters have once again found a way to top themselves. The dirty, distorted message Grohl was trying to send us comes through clear as a bell.