CD Review: Wasting Light

Foo Fighters [RCA]


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Foo Fighter's - WASTING LIGHT

Ian Birnam reviews Foo Fighters' latest album, Wasting Light.

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'90s nostalgia has never given a more refreshing kick in the ass than that of Foo Fighter's Wasting Light. Defying the industry's status quo, Foo Fighters have never strayed far from their norm of palm-muted guitar lines and rapid-fire drums. The familiar explosive choruses and Dave Grohl's burly screams of "I never want to die!" confirms the Foo Fighters' long-waited return with a testosterone-fueled album that hits hard and leaves the listener in a face-melting bliss.

Whereas lyrical maturity was the focus of Foo Fighters' last two efforts, Wasting Light is a return to their roots of machine-gun riffs, with the continuation of rich choruses and Dave Grohl's vocal cocktail of guttural screams and ragged refrains. Foo Fighters seamlessly blend heavy, downbeat rhythms with ballad melodies to produce gritty tracks that are both radio-friendly and sure to please die-hard fans with a continuation of their brawny style.

A retreat into their sonic past doesn't mean Foo Fighters stopped experimenting with deeper lyrics. Grohl divulges verses of heartbreak and choruses of regret, hinting at the untimely death of former Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain. Of course, not every track provides a glimpse into Grohl's soul: The careful balance of heartfelt lyrics and muscular rock and roll make Wasting Light an album brimming with anthems that simultaneously pummel and soothe.

Despite the fact that Wasting Light is their seventh studio album, Foo Fighters don't fall into the washed-up wasteland in a rapidly-changing and trendy music scene. Instead, Wasting Light resurrects Foo Fighters as a prominent leader of solid, no-holds-barred rock that the band has not produced since 1997's The Colour and the Shape. Other than the slight stumble of "Dear Rosemary" - a little too reminiscent of The Raconteurs' "Steady, As She Goes" - Wasting Light manifests itself as a colossal demon of rock in its rawest, most entertaining form.

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