What the Foo Fighters do best...
Laura Davies

08:15 11th April 2011

More about:

Feel sorry for Mr Dave Grohl's neighbours. The 'nicest man in rock' decided to throw his condescending title out the window and right into his next door neighbours' swimming pool, as the Foo Fighters are back with their trademark heavy rock sound - recorded on analogue in Grohl's own garage. We may giggle at the comedy videos, appreciate the talent in acoustic double albums, but this is what the Foo Fighters do best.

'Back to basics Foos' is too easy a label to attach to 'Wasting Light'. Carved out from a lifetime in an industry that has seen Grohl achieve everything (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Probot, playing with Queens of the Stone Age and rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures), it's hard to imagine where he still finds the drive. And then after 30 seconds of guitar build-up on 'Bridge Burning', Grohl launches kicking and screaming in to 'These are my favourite last words' and it all makes sense. It's back to their rock roots Foos.

First single 'Rope' is more of the same. In a time of dominating dubstep, it stands out a mile on the radio, and yet is distinctively Foo Fighters. Guitar riffs courtesy of Chris Shiflett, Taylor Hawkins attacking the drum kit and Nate Mendel keeping it all together on bass - and the return of Pat Smear, former Nirvana touring guitarist. And then Mr Grohl: keeping hold of the fans of the Foo Fighters pop sound, and yet here he is screaming, no-holds barred howling at the feet of Satan. 'White Limo' sees the trademark roar resemble friend and fellow fully-fledged-member-of-the-best-rockstars-in-the-world club Josh Homme. The influence is mirrored in both their work these days. It makes a formidable force.

'Arlandria' and 'These Days' are the closest to crowd singalongs you're going to get on 'Wasting Light'. 'Arlandria's' anthemic lyrics “fame, fame, go away, come again another day” and 'These Days' could have come from 2002's 'One by One' - it's not as remarkable as you'd have hoped, but if the Foo Fighters are going to be playing stadiums every other night, then a break in the rock onslaught has to come from somewhere.

Of course it doesn't last too long. The weirdest track of the record, 'Back & Forth' sounds like an almost out of tune Grohl singing a 1990s chorus. Finishing on sing-a-long 'I Should Have Known', 'Wasting Light' starts will all the bombast of a man on a mission to blow his neighbours to a different postcode, but fades to a karaoke version of themselves.

To their credit – and their detriment – the west coast rockers have no contemporaries to compare with – they just just sound like the Foo Fighters.

MORE: Let's Rock! Foo Fighters Facts You Need To Know.

More about: