REVIEW: Foo Fighters – “Wasting Light”

Foo Fighters / Wasting Light / RCA

Easily the most impressive part of Wasting Light, the seventh full length effort by the Foos, is Dave Grohl’s voice, which is still as powerful and charismatic as it was on The Colour And The Shape. Maybe it was a good thing he spent the first half of the ‘90s as primarily a drummer, since it means he saved his vocal chord shredding for a few years further along in his career. The long, one-breath vocal runs he pulled off in numerous classic cuts made it pretty clear he had about the biggest set of lungs in the business, and he does plenty of demonstrations on the opener “Bridge Burning” and the sweaty screamer “White Limo”. While the vocals are strong, in the past Grohl has dealt with more weighty topics using more thoughtful lyrics. This collection is more straight forward in the vein of “Learn to Fly” than anything that will give you the kind of goose bumps you get from listening to “My Hero” or “Best of You”. The lone exception might be “Miss the Misery”, with its fusion of hair metal schmaltz and grunge guitar mastery.

Some other ‘90s luminaries such as Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü and former Nirvana member Krist Novoselic lend a hand on the release, but the tracks they add input on aren’t as memorable as the rocking intros on the album’s opening material, or the bitching solo in lead single “Rope”. That solo is probably the instrumental highpoint on the album, which never does much to break new ground for the group. After some inventive opening riffs, the songs are structured in the way you’d expect Foo Fighters songs to sound; in “A Matter of Time” they even lift the little five-note guitar fill from “Monkey Wrench”. Wasting Light is hardly a blemish to the discography of the Foo Fighters, but it’s certainly not a definitive addition to it either.

Download: “Bridge Burning”, “Miss The Misery”

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