– Dave Grohl, on Rope
The Foo Fighters have unfortunately become the Bon Jovi of the post-grunge era, but even Jon has written better songs with nothing left to prove. – Andy Whorehall
Dave Grohl is one of rock n’ roll’s nice guys, and a phenomenal drummer. His band’s latest offering tries to capture that golden 90s youthful feeling by working with producer, Butch Vig (Nevermind), and idols, Lemmy (Motorhead) and Bob Mould (Husker DÃ¼). Josh Homme and Krist Novoselic make appearances as well- but it doesn’t matter. Even an old band mate, Pat Smear, is back in the fold too but. The performance efforts by all are honorable on Wasting Light but there’s something missing. Conviction.
The songs are terrible despite Grohl’s intents, he should stay behind a drum kit. His lyrics are pedestrian explorations of a very successful man who’s looking, seeking, emotional depth:
Somewhere down the line I started to slip / Years gone by, biting my lip / All the while, all this time I knew / Now your on your own, one for the pages / Over the hill and through the ages / Does my heaven burn like hell on you? / Out beneath the cracks and coming in waves / Rolling like an earthquake under the pavement / Heavy now, tell me Mr.Truth.
I never believe him, or in his ability to write; and that’s my problem with another Foo Fighters record.
They’ve never returned to the conviction I feel listening to the first 2 records and I don’t expect them too. Many moments on ‘Light’ are loud for no reason other than to just be loud. Yelling yow repeatedly becomes funny as Grohl does on Rope. What’s sad is that there’s a beautiful all-too-quick memorable melody tucked into the lines of when you go I come loose. Much of ‘Light is like this, sacrificing taste for yelling and rock band/air guitar motions.
Dear Rosemary is a terrible waste of Bob Mould’s vocal; and These Days attempts to be decent but ends up in another terribly, predictable chorus where Grohl yells to yell again. White Limo with Lemmy in tow is loud just to be loud again, as is most of the record. The production is highly compressed and (forgive me Foo Fans, he’s such a nice man, I know) fucking annoying.
The Foo Fighters Wasting Light is an annoying fat, loud, bloated rock record that wants to show you its heart but can’t because they ate too. All that’s left to share is poorly digested, formulaic rock shit. It hurts my own feelings, as well as those of many Foo Fans’ Feelings, to feel this way about a really nice guy like Grohl who wants to be an artist so bad that he feels like he has something to prove still. I don’t believe his lyrical despair tucked between the glossy Vig 90s sheen this record has. Analog or digital, it doesn’t matter which recording process is used; some of the best rock songs produced in the last 20 years have been recorded on boom boxes (Guided By Voices!). The Foos have been marketing this record as a return to analog, recording it in their garage, and blah-blah-blah. Process and emotional conviction are two separate artistic elements at odds with each other on ‘Light’. Much of Wasting Light, as is the majority of the Foos catalog, suffers from a lack of emotional and artistic conviction. Which is really hard to admit again because Grohl is such a nice, funny guy!
This one will tease you into being interested by staring at the cover at your local record store, but stay away. Do not touch it, love it, fuck it, anything; not even a one-nighter, just run. The Foo Fighters have unfortunately become the Bon Jovi of the post-grunge era, but even Jon has written better songs with nothing left to prove.