Release Date: April 12, 2011
Reviewed by Chris Johnston
Dave Grohl might be the most underrated musician out there today. He has millions of fans, sure, but do you ever see him on syndicated MTV shows? No. Is he wearing crazy outfits to award shows to make a statement? No. Certainly those who know of him view him as a rock star of epic proportions. However, he manages to be that dark horse musician, suddenly coming back from obscurity to completely blow you away and remind you that the Foo Fighters still exist, and in a BIG way.
Let’s get to the point right off the bat, Wasting Light is fantastic. It’s not record of the year or anything, but it will easily be in the top 10 for the year 2011. A year that’s sure to be another notch in the bedpost of disposable trash and synthesized music beats that take actual instruments away from music. And why is that? Well, first off, Dave Grohl’s pipes are some of the most diverse, recognizable pipes in the common world. When Grohl opens his mouth, you know it’s him. No one else sounds like him, no one else ever will sound like him. The songwriting on this effort is totally appropriate and solid. There’s rarely a dull moment, if any at all. Which I can’t recall there being one. The songs flow so well. It’s poppy enough that we might have another “Learning to Fly” on our hands with the track “Walk,” but dark enough to continually please long time fans. For those of you who like the technical aspect of a record, the Foo Fighters’ guitar tones have never sounded better. You can tell just by listening to Wasting Light versus any previous record that the band worked extremely hard to improve the tones coming from the fiddles.
And then there’s Taylor Hawkins. Is there a drummer in existence that fits his respective band more than Mr. Hawkins? I really would challenge anyone else. The rhythm work he does is the jalepeno peppers delicately scattered over the explosion of flavor that is Wasting Light. What I mean is, with all of the other things going on in the music, all of these tastes that you’re getting at the same time, Hawkins will take a back seat while Grohl is belting out a verse to let him have the spotlight, and then out of nowhere BAM. You get that heat. That fire. That’s Hawkins coming back at you at mach speed as if to say, “Look Dave Grohl is cool and all, but I’m Taylor Hawkins. I’m the backbone of this band and you WILL headbang.” Especially on barn-burner, “White Limo.” The song is just so aggressive. Hawkins really drives that one home for the Fighters.
Bottom line, the Foo Fighters are back and once again, they prove why they deserve to be so heralded. Old-school Foo fans will love it, and those of you who haven’t been getting the memos the past 15 years (crazy right?) better listen up. The Foo Fighters would like to have a word with you.