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Foo Fighters’ "Wasting Light" offers a nicely balanced group of songs and a Nirvana reunion

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One thing that Foo Fighters have always done admirably is not follow any particular musical trends.Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light offers a nicely balanced group of songs and a Nirvana reunion. Much like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Whom Dave Grohl once sat in with for a Saturday Night lIve Appearance), Foo Fighters just plug in and play.

In fact, front man Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins often pay homage to their musical heroes of the past. Just take a look at Hawkins’ latest kit and you’d think he borrowed it from The Eagles’ Don Henley back in 1979 (and I mean that in a good way. Henley had an awesome looking kit!).
          
You need to look no further than Wasting Light, the group’s newest and heaviest effort, in order to notice just how much the Foo’s are influenced by their peers. Recorded on analog tape (some leftover pieces are distributed in limited copies of the CD) in Grohl’s garage (need I say more!), the Foo’s seventh album offers everything from hard core, to grunge rock, progressive rock and even some pop for good measure, but is still delivered effectively and tastefully by Grohl and company as only they can do.

The album’s lead single “Rope” invokes memories of Rush, as Hawkins pulls off his best Neil Peart imitation while maintaining his own style. “White Limo” is straight up thrash metal with Grohl’s vocal harmonies mixed in for good measure (the video featuring Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister is a MUST-SEE). “Dear Rosemary” delivers verses in the vein of The Raconteurs “Steady, As She Goes” and features backing vocals from ex-Husker Du guitarist Bob Mould, while Tubes lead singer Fee Waybill contributes backing vocals on “Miss the Misery.” And last but not least, former Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic plays bass and accordian on the album’s penultimate track “I Should Have Known.” Light is produced by former Nirvana producer Butch Vig. And with returning Foo’s guitarist and ex-Nirvana touring guitarist Pat Smear playing alongside Grohl and Novoselic during the sessions, this is likely the closest reunion of that band that you will ever experience on record.



Wasting Light  doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but contains enough hooks to balance pop sensibility while maintaining its hard edge. Moreover, it doesn’t promise the expectations of an album such as “In Your Honor, and perhaps that’s why it works better on some levels.

Not an easy thing to do, but Foo Fighters pull it off with help from their friends from the past and present, and deliver arguably their most balanced work since The Colour And The Shape.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

 

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