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Foo Fighters
Wasting Light
Sony Records
April 12, 2011

It’s been about four years since the last new dose of Foo rock, so Foo fans are sure to love the latest installment, Wasting Light, which is straight up, unabashedly rock’n’roll inside and out, from beginning to end. The Foo Fighters deliver the expected energy of searing guitars, rampant screaming and catchy hooks, tinged with subdued sweetness, all in one 11-track long ride. Fitting for an alternative rock, post-grunge outfit, this album is genuinely big, loud, and fast, without sounding too forced or forceful. This, their seventh studio album, sounds relaxed for hard rock, like you can tell the band was just jamming in Dave Grohl’s garage, effortlessly pumping out some more crowd-pleasing hits, because that is, more or less, how it went.

The entire album was recorded in analog and remastered later, removing any of that Hollywood pressure they may have accumulated in their almost-20-year-long career as one of the most famous rock bands ever (all six of their albums were nominated for Best Rock Album at the Grammy Awards, and three won). Pat Smear, guitarist who toured with Grohl as a part of both Nirvana and Foo Fighters, has officially returned to the band and appears here, ripping it up in full force. Butch Vig, the producer of Nirvana’s Nevermind and the Foos’ new songs from Greatest Hits, returns here as well, making this collaboration a sort of reunion.

Whatever goes into that Foo formula is something that carries power, because Grohl’s voice growls forward, their minimalist yet head-banging rock and soft-then-loud style shines through still in their latest release. It’s just good old rock and roll fun, yet,it still manages to feel new and shiny.

The album screams its way into existence and then follows with “Rope,” the first single from the album, which aired on radio in February 2011, and no wonder, because it is quintessentially Foo. The next one, “Rosemary,” swings into a lightly sweet hook of “Rosemary you’re a part of me, you are, you are, Rosemary please pardon me,” and despite being a little long and repetitive, the song ends with a hint of a harder edge: “Rosemary you got away from me, now get away from me…” Similarly, “Back and Forth” is unforgettably catchy and this reviewer’s favorite from the set.

“Arlandria” in the middle might verge on cheesy, but before you imagine things getting too mushy, “White Limo” will pound your head right back into the wall. “I Should Have Known” is delightfully vengeful, though “Walk” is endearing and sadly hopeful, closing the album in optimistic yet unsentimental style. “I’m on my knees, I never wanna die… I’m learning to walk again, can’t you see I’ve waited long enough…” Foo fans have waited long enough for their dose of Foo and we’re happy to anticipate: satisfied.


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Reviewer Bio - Nancy Woo, managing editor at OnlineRock, studied Sociology, Literature and Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. A self-described "bohemian of sorts" she spends most of her time listening to music, reading, writing, freelancing in the world of journalism, tutoring writing, running, practicing yoga, attending live music and theater shows.

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