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Thomas Nassiff 04/12/11 11:55 PM

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
 
Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Record Label: RCA


Rock and roll in its truest form is something of a lost art form among most bands these days. Groups that still present the masses with a worthwhile substance that can be called rock and roll are usually fairly widely recognized for their services. And while newer bands like The Gaslight Anthem continue their rise up the rock and roll ladder, fans of the genre will warmly embrace the familiar sounds of the Foo Fighters - because if we couldn't expect a rock and roll record out of these guys, we never had much hope anyway.

With Wasting Light, the Foo Fighters' seventh studio album, we get perhaps the most purely rock and roll record from Dave Grohl and Co. Recorded in Grohl's garage - yes, those Foo Fighters recorded this album in a garage - using only analog equipment until post-mastering, Wasting Light comes across as a rare shiny gem of brilliance among towering waves of radio rock that constantly threatens to drown all things listenable.

Sure, the sound is still as mainstream as ever. There will be singles on this record that penetrate the top of Billboard's charts. But this isn't news to any of us, and the Foo Fighters are still serving up the best radio rock bar none. Featuring guitarist Pat Smear for the first time since 1997's magnificent The Colour and the Shape, the Foo Fighters are stronger than they have been in years. 2007's Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace wasn't by any means a disappointment, but Wasting Light has no problem overshadowing its predecessor after a few listens.

In fact, I have no problem making this statement early on: the Foo Fighters haven't written a record as good as Wasting Light in over a decade. This is the band's best work since The Colour and the Shape.

"Bridge Burning" is as intense and blistering an opener as one would expect from the ever-aggressive Grohl. The guitar lines and pounding drum fills rock listeners down to their core right from the outset, and Grohl's fiery cry of, "These are my famous last words," kicks off Wasting Light with a feel-good injection of Foo Fighters' punk edge straight into the blood stream. The verses are rhythmic, perfectly setting up a grand slam of a chorus that exemplifies everything anybody should like about this band.

Throughout the entire opener, one can't shake the veteran feeling behind the music; like Foo Fighters have just done this shit so many times before that they're out to make everyone else look silly. Taylor Hawkins never messes around behind the kit, be it on this song or first single "Rope," which does nothing to quell the feeling that this band knows something others are missing. Equal parts aggression and rhythm, "Rope" is just part of a stellar first half of this record. "Arlandria" is the first-half standout, however, bringing in a huge guitar hook and a signature Grohl buildup in the prechorus, hitting home with a sing-along chorus for the ages.

"Back & Forth" proves to be the best track on Wasting Light, a certain future radio hit that lands as a more rough-around-the-edges "Long Road to Ruin." "Miss the Misery," the track which gives the record its name, is another decent number, but it leads into "I Should Have Known," which may prove to be the only skip-worthy track on the album. Closer "Walk" is another potential hit, a catchy and heartfelt anthem that finds Grohl at an introspective point: "I'm learning to walk again / I believe I've waited long enough / Where do I begin? / I'm learning to talk again / Can't you see I've waited long enough? / Where do I begin?"

Wasting Light isn't perfect, but its flaws are essential to its being. Butch Vig's production is the remedy for any problems Grohl has had in the last few years coming across too clean; perhaps only Vig can properly capture the correct balance between melodic classic rock and purely unadulterated BOOM that the Foo Fighters so easily throw down.

The Foo Fighters and Grohl get heavily compared, for obvious reasons, to Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. But while Nirvana was something of a shock to the mainstream's system, Foo Fighters play right into what the mainstream likes the most. Grohl has an uncanny ability to pen anthems that you aren't afraid to hear on the radio. In fact, if music like this was on the radio more, you would probably actually have the radio on in your car every once in a while. The process of horrible, horrible music becoming popular has left us with an inevitable conclusion; the Foo Fighters are one of the only big-time rock and roll bands left on the planet. Dave Grohl should be doing what Bruce Springsteen did in the 1970s: stepping in and filling an empty void as America's beloved rock and roll superstar. But America doesn't want that void filled. It would rather sing the chorus of Katy Perry's "Firework" another dozen times. But Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters won't mind; they'll keep rocking on with their heads down while they make music that we'll remember long past the inevitable demise of all things shining in the light of the flickering mainstream.

Recommended If You LikeThe goddamn Foo Fighters.
Follow Me On TwitterI'll probably tweet some Meatloaf lyrics as I study for finals.
Bare Essentials1. Bridge Burning
2. Rope
3. Dear Rosemary
4. White Limo
5. Arlandria
6. These Days
7. Back Forth
8. A Matter Of Time
9. Miss The Misery
10. I Should Have Known
11. Walk
Run Time: 48 minutes, Produced By: Butch Vig
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Website

PeeDster 04/13/11 12:04 AM

really like that last paragraph.

mrnegativezero 04/13/11 12:07 AM

Quote:

In fact, I have no problem making this statement early on: the Foo Fighters haven't written a record as good as Wasting Light in over a decade. This is the band's best work since The Colour and the Shape.

Very bold statement, and although I feel the need to instinctively disagree somewhat, it does really drive home what I feel this album achieves.

Pretty good review, love the point you make about the role the Foo's should take on and the RIYL.

ThrownAwayKyle 04/13/11 12:15 AM

good review! glad the album is getting the reviews it deserves. it is an incredible record and i love it.

only surprised you didn't mention "White Limo" in the review, i think its an interesting statement from the band, and one of the main songs on the record that show that they are doing whatever the hell they want now and they think its awesome! haha no, but im very surprised to hear a foo fighters song with more screaming than singing in it! and i think they are one of the only bands that could bring screaming to mainstream, and thats an interesting thought

Thomas Nassiff 04/13/11 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex Djaferis (Post 87998822)
really like that last paragraph.

Thank you sir :-)

phaynes1 04/13/11 12:19 AM

Great review, Thomas. Easily their best in over a decade.

CheckeredFloors 04/13/11 12:21 AM

Cause baby you're a firework, come on show 'em what you're worth.

WhoSaidThat? 04/13/11 12:29 AM

What a review. This is such an awesome album.

Am I the only one who still isn't ready to say this is better than TINLTL?

Mochem 04/13/11 12:31 AM

Quote:

..."I Should Have Known," which may prove to be the only skip-worthy track on the album.

Wow, really? I couldn't disagree more.

IamTheINDUSTRY 04/13/11 12:37 AM

record owns. one of the best things i've heard this year.

Paulb-182 04/13/11 12:49 AM

Wouldn't say it's better than There Is Nothing Left To Lose. That album is brilliant. But thank God they're back anyway, another great album from them.

W/O a Parachute 04/13/11 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex Djaferis (Post 87998822)
really like that last paragraph.

seriously. so many reviews on this site feel rehashed, like they are following a particular (monotonous) formula. This last paragraph was legitimately refreshing to read - like the first breath after a bite into some powerful minty gum. I was smiling as I read it.

(exhale)

W/O a Parachute 04/13/11 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mochem (Post 87999382)
Wow, really? I couldn't disagree more.


I'm with you, though the only form in which i've heard the record was at the 3-D concert after the documentary on the 5th, it was one of my favorite songs that night.

My opinion may change after i hear it on the record though.

Thomas Nassiff 04/13/11 01:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by W/O a Parachute (Post 87999831)
seriously. so many reviews on this site feel rehashed, like they are following a particular (monotonous) formula. This last paragraph was legitimately refreshing to read - like the first breath after a bite into some powerful minty gum. I was smiling as I read it.

(exhale)

Thank you! I hope my reviews don't come across as formulaic.

LetterBomb31 04/13/11 01:21 AM

I don't know if I'll pick this album up or not. I feel like this band are just going in circles.

Ryan3985 04/13/11 01:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LetterBomb31 (Post 88000021)
I don't know if I'll pick this album up or not. I feel like this band are just going in circles.

their running circles around everyone else, if thats what you meant. crazy good album, check it out.

W/O a Parachute 04/13/11 01:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 87999921)
Thank you! I hope my reviews don't come across as formulaic.

No, not really. It's difficult to write reviews on a consistent basis. Some writers on this site turn out 3 or 4 at a time, and it's tough to write in a unique rhythm that properly conveys the feeling of an album. You do a pretty good job. The Mogwai review (Hardcore Will Never Die...) especially. Very, very good. Keep up the good work, it keeps me coming back to this site. And Thanks.

Thomas Nassiff 04/13/11 01:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by W/O a Parachute (Post 88000182)
No, not really. It's difficult to write reviews on a consistent basis. Some writers on this site turn out 3 or 4 at a time, and it's tough to write in a unique rhythm that properly conveys the feeling of an album. You do a pretty good job. The Mogwai review (Hardcore Will Never Die...) especially. Very, very good. Keep up the good work, it keeps me coming back to this site. And Thanks.

That's awesome to hear. One thing that review and this review had in common is that after I wrote them, I didn't know whether to punish them because I thought they were over-the-top. I guess that might be a good feeling to have in a review then. But I agree...when I put up a handful of reviews at a time they do seem to fall into a sort of rhythm.

InfiniteArms 04/13/11 01:58 AM

Quote:

In fact, I have no problem making this statement early on: the Foo Fighters haven't written a record as good as Wasting Light in over a decade. This is the band's best work since The Colour and the Shape.

I disagree, One By One is a great record. Wasting Light is a great record. I do agree, its better than previous work but I wouldn't say over a decade, I'd say in under a decade, so you can factor in One By One.

Memphis 04/13/11 02:21 AM

Album is amazing, not perfect but damn, listening to it feels so refreshing...

Btw, I'm really pleased with how some of this year's hard rock albums turned out - Rise Against, Funeral for a Friend, Foo Fighters, they're all amazing

JuneJuly 04/13/11 03:15 AM

my roommate loves these guys, he's more into this kind of music than I am (and by that I mean billboard type stuff) but what I heard I liked. Always enjoyed what I heard from Foo Fighters even though I haven't listened to them much. He said there was a "screamo" track on the record, I lol'd a little bit (PS: is there?).

Maxwell 04/13/11 03:37 AM

Really enjoyed this review. Love this album a lot more than i thought i would, solid band, solid album.

Charlesieiy 04/13/11 04:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuneJuly (Post 88001182)
my roommate loves these guys, he's more into this kind of music than I am (and by that I mean billboard type stuff) but what I heard I liked. Always enjoyed what I heard from Foo Fighters even though I haven't listened to them much. He said there was a "screamo" track on the record, I lol'd a little bit (PS: is there?).

Yeah there is, it's called White Limo. Check it.

Great album, great review! Disagree aboout I Should Have Known though, it's a pretty great song.

CoopDawg 04/13/11 04:19 AM

Great review! I am not sure which I am gonna like more: this or the new Incubus record!

thepianominstre 04/13/11 04:41 AM

Never listened to these guys (don't listen to much "rock and roll" period I guess) but a friend I respect really likes them so I listened to that stream that came out a couple weeks ago and I was pretty impressed. Made me want to play Rock Band. They're definitely fightin' foo...

XenoAbe 04/13/11 04:48 AM

Love the RIYL.

tht1guyb 04/13/11 05:03 AM

I will also follow suit and give you a standing "O" on that last paragraph... well said sir

and yes, this album is fan-freaking-tastic

cubsml34 04/13/11 05:04 AM

Great review, I don't think anything can top TCATS, (although the acoustic side of In Your Honor is pretty great too), but this comes pretty damn close. Bridge Burning is such an ass kicker I couldn't stop smiling on my first listen.

Sparky_89 04/13/11 05:20 AM

Your reviews are very readable and well written - I'll often read them even if I'm unfamiliar with who's being reviewed. Often forget how good this band actually are, but have been inspired to give this a listen - after a spin of CATS of course :)

laxcrs 04/13/11 05:28 AM

fucking love the riyl, review and this cd

Mirrorsandfevers 04/13/11 05:35 AM

Great album, great review.

P_T_W 04/13/11 06:05 AM

Great review of an absolutely phenomenal record.

Searos 04/13/11 06:05 AM

Amazing CD. Gonna half to go into town and pick this up

XenoAbe 04/13/11 06:23 AM

AOTY contender for sure.

The Indigo 04/13/11 06:26 AM

I'm going to take issue with that last paragraph. Why take a shot at Katy Perry for putting out formulaic pop after spending the entire review praising Foo Fighters for formulaic rock. Although you use different language for both, Foo Fighters have been on autopilot since they broke into the mainstream. These guys have literally been putting out the same brand of single-drive radio rock albums every two years since before most of us even listened to music. Foo Fighters aren't "filling a void," they're playing into it. Take away the guitars and drums and replace them with synthesizers, put Katy Perry in Grohl's place, and I guarantee no one would tell the difference. Take Katy Perry's "Extraterrestrial" and change the instrumentation around, put Dave Grohl in front of the mic, and it could be a Foo Fighters song (given it'd need different lyrics).

I'm not attacking you so much as I'm taking issue with your seemingly random praise of one artist for being mainstream while taking a shot at another for doing the same thing. People want to sing the chorus of "Fireworks" because it's a huge, homerun of a pop chorus, the exact same kind of choruses Dave Grohl has built his career upon.

tl;dr Foo Fighters = Katy Perry

Searos 04/13/11 06:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Indigo (Post 88003411)
I'm going to take issue with that last paragraph. Why take a shot at Katy Perry for putting out formulaic pop after spending the entire review praising Foo Fighters for formulaic rock. Although you use different language for both, Foo Fighters have been on autopilot since they broke into the mainstream. These guys have literally been putting out the same brand of single-drive radio rock albums every two years since before most of us even listened to music. Foo Fighters aren't "filling a void," they're playing into it. Take away the guitars and drums and replace them with synthesizers, put Katy Perry in Grohl's place, and I guarantee no one would tell the difference. Take Katy Perry's "Extraterrestrial" and change the instrumentation around, put Dave Grohl in front of the mic, and it could be a Foo Fighters song (given it'd need different lyrics).

I'm not attacking you so much as I'm taking issue with your seemingly random praise of one artist for being mainstream while taking a shot at another for doing the same thing. People want to sing the chorus of "Fireworks" because it's a huge, homerun of a pop chorus, the exact same kind of choruses Dave Grohl has built his career upon.

tl;dr Foo Fighters = Katy Perry

That was rough to read. Foo Fighters may release the same sorta music with each release but it is consistently good. Not every song makes it to the radio and the ones that do should be praised because real rock is scarce on the radio.A shot at Katy Perry or not, Foo Fighters have a discography that fans can get by. A pop formula that pop stars use these days will not last them forever.

Foo Fighters =/= Katy Perry *sigh*

HogarthHughes 04/13/11 07:12 AM

Awesome review! The only thing I disagree with is your opinion on "I Should Have Known," but other than that you hit the nail on the head.

thesinkingship 04/13/11 07:18 AM

Too High

IceAge/HeatWave 04/13/11 07:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Indigo (Post 88003411)
Take away the guitars and drums and replace them with synthesizers, put Katy Perry in Grohl's place, and I guarantee no one would tell the difference. Take Katy Perry's "Extraterrestrial" and change the instrumentation around, put Dave Grohl in front of the mic, and it could be a Foo Fighters song (given it'd need different lyrics).


you mean if you changed everything about the song and turned it into a katy perry song? if you changed the time signatures, had the band work with nigel godrich, and dave grohl was able to do one of the world's finest falsettos, then they'd be radiohead.

Craig Manning 04/13/11 07:27 AM

I Should Have Know is a great song, especially in the penultimate position. And while Back & Forth is a great song and one of the album's most instantly memorable, the best song on the album it is not: that title belongs to Walk, which is the best closer these guys have ever penned.

Dookie1 04/13/11 07:30 AM

Conviction...
 
You write with such conviction, great review..

rjmoz87 04/13/11 07:30 AM

great review

Holly HoX! 04/13/11 07:38 AM

I agree with your last paragraph. I have told people for the last five years this: Dave is the only true (living) rock star. Period. There may be bands like Foo, but no one is as commanding as Dave.

It was a nice review, but I do have one tip, one writer to another: watch those cliches. They sound hokey and I know you can come up with something better in those cases. That's not to say you do it all the time, it's just my two cents.

Brian W 04/13/11 07:40 AM

Great review. I just don't see Back & Forth being the best song on the record and I Should Have Known being a track to skip over. I actually see I Should Have Known being one of the strongest and most honest songs on the record, and Back & Forth being the skip worthy track.

Meeze 04/13/11 07:46 AM

pretty sure if you've heard one Foo Fighters song, you've heard them all. They are the AC/DC of the 90s-2000s...everything sounds the same.

jedediahdaniel 04/13/11 07:49 AM

Great, great review Thomas. And you absolutely nailed the truth out in that last paragraph. Long live Foo.

Portugal4142 04/13/11 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meeze (Post 88005991)
pretty sure if you've heard one Foo Fighters song, you've heard them all. They are the AC/DC of the 90s-2000s...everything sounds the same.

pretty sure no

skibby15 04/13/11 07:59 AM

great review, great album

fna4 04/13/11 08:08 AM

The Foo Fighters do what they do incredibly well, probably better than any mainstream rock band out there. However for me they have gotten a bit bland.

schlotty 04/13/11 08:08 AM

I don't think you were being a pretentious douchebag or anything as bad that in the review, hahaha.