If it seems like the Foo Fighters have gotten ahead of themselves - releasing three singles in advance of their new album Concrete and Gold (set for release next Friday, 15 September) and previewing several more songs from the record live in concert - it’s hardly surprising. It’s been three years since their last opus, Sonic Highways, a lengthy span for any band that puts as much stock in a pervasive presence and visceral ferocity as the Foo Fighters have been prone to do.
The band now has a new track to preview in the form of a third single, 'The Line', a surging, searing example of the band’s slash and burn style. Despite its riveting delivery, the sound is also notably melodic, particularly by Foo Fighters standards. Dave Grohl may have a punk pedigree, courtesy of his tenure in Nirvana, but he also boasts a reverence for the classic rock regimen, and with its soaring harmonies and insistent refrain, it’s clear he’s revived a patented approach that’s clearly conducive to rock radio. It’s easily the band’s most accessible effort yet, one that’s dark and didactic at first, before it quickly starts to soar. If it’s any indication of what’s to come, Concrete and Gold ought to prove to be the band’s most triumphant effort yet.
Indeed, that’s already evident by the success of the singles so far. 'Run', released this past June. garnered more than two million views on YouTube within the first 24 hours, quickly rocketing its way to the ITunes charts singles and video charts. Consequently, it saw the most rapid rise of any single of the band’s 22 year career.
Its follow-up, 'The Sky Is A Neighborhood', was equally significant, courtesy of a Grohl-directed video that cast the song as a sci-fi mini epic the befit the song’s sonic stance.
As if that wasn’t proof enough, the list of marquee names making guest appearances confirms the fact that this is an album of epic proportions. Paul McCartney is featured on drums, while cameos from Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman, The Kills’ Alison Mosshart and Grohl’s pal and drinking buddy Justin Timberlake suggest a diversity and dynamic that’s clearly uncommon for any Foo Fighters album.
Then again, Grohl and company have never been content at being pigeonholed as just another band of agitated antagonists. Despite various changes in membership over the years, the current core line-up of Grohl, drummer Taylor Hawkins, bassist Nate Mendel, guitarists Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett and keyboardist Rami Jaffee remains the most formidable front line yet.
That ought to be evident, not only on the new album, but also on the upcoming tour dates the group will play in support of the new album. The band head out on UK tour this month before their U.S. tour gets underway with an appearance at Cal Jam 17 on October 7, a mega hard rock extravaganza that also features Queens of the Stone Age, Liam Gallagher, Cage the Elephant, and The Kills, among others.
Following a string of Stateside dates stretching through mid December, the band has also scheduled a series of shows that will take them and special guests Weezer to Australia and New Zealand in the new year. They are also scheduled for an appearance in Mexico City in mid November.