Album review: Foo Fighters, Wasting Light

Posted: April 13, 2011 in Album Reviews

There’s a definite 90s alt-rock feel to Foo Fighter’s seventh album, Wasting Light. Butch Vig, producer of Nirvana’s classic Nevermind, joins forces with Dave Grohl again to man the boards for the latest release. Pat Smear, a late-era member of Nirvana and an early member of Foo Fighters, returns to the band for the first time since 1997’s classic, The Colour and the Shape. And ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic even makes an appearance on the excellent slow burning track “I Should Have Known,” giving the album a bit of a Nirvana alumni reunion feel.
But make no mistake, the show’s all about Grohl and his killer band, who deliver their sharpest set of tunes since 1999’s There is Nothing Left to Lose.
Foo Fighters rocks perhaps as hard as they ever have on Wasting Light, right from the point album opener “Bridge Burning” begins to the point the redemptive closer and future single “Walk” ends. There’s no filler here, something that has plagued some of the more recent efforts by Foos. While Grohl isn’t capable of writing a bad song, sometimes it appears he has things in cruise control a bit. Not here, it’s full throttle all the way, as he and the boys have crafted an instant rock classic.
There’s something for everyone here. “White Limo” has Grohl screaming like he did on the album’s first two releases (think tracks like ‘Watershed or ‘Enough Space’), over a punk-thrash backdrop, almost a bit like Queens of the Stone Age’s heavier tracks (of which Grohl is a sometimes contributor). Lead single “Rope” has the loud-soft dynamics you come to expect from Foo Fighters, with tight harmonies between Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins giving way to a full-guitar assault. “These Days” is a more introspective number, but it also packs quite a punch come payoff time.
There’s not a wasted moment on Wasting Light, an album that certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome. Just the opposite, as soon as the final track ends, you’re back to track 1 for another round. Well played, boys.

Sod rating: **** 1/2


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