Wasting Light

by Foo Fighters

It appears that Dave Grohl likes to stay busy. Not only is he at the helm of this the seventh Foo's album, but the band are also releasing a covers album shortly too called Medium Rare. So it looks like he’s not prepared to give up the good Foo fight any time soon. This is just as well, as he makes a most pleasant racket.

boom - Foo Fighters Wasting Light album image

Wasting Light has more weight to it than more recent albums; the guitars, drums and vocals all sound just that little bit heavier than normal.

The opening to ‘Bridge Burning’ sets the scene nicely. Some frenetic guitar chords seemingly send out a Morse code message of what’s to come: a tsunami of rock. It’s not soft, nor hard, but just the right amount. It’s the perfect way to open an album.

The first single ‘Rope’ follows it. It’s unmistakably Foo Fighters, being as it is loud with an undercurrent of grunge. All while being completely radio friendly. There’s an edge here though that doesn’t often see the light of day, which is promising.

Over the years musicians have often written songs with the names of women in the title. This one is a little old fashioned, but will no doubt delight all those called Rosemary, who must have thought that the chances of their having a song named after them were slim indeed. Well, the Foos have done it with ‘Dear Rosemary’, so send your thanks their way. As a song it has all the right ingredients, but the result is on the generic side and not at all remarkable.

‘White Limo’ certainly cranks it up a notch. It’s the heaviest track on the album, and could compete with any Slayer track pound for pound. Sure it would probably lose, but it would be one helluva scrap. If you like the prettier type of Foo Fighter songs, then this one may well hurt your ears, so you’ve been warned.

Back on slightly more familiar ground with ‘Arlandria’. Grohl manages to do a little bit of softly spoken vocals, followed by some lung-scratching ones. The chorus is on the weak side, but it works.

The first slowy track on the album is ‘These Days’, but even then it still has a driving beat. It’s the Foo Fighters by the numbers, offering nothing in the way of excitement or surprise. The guitars sound just a little too pretty, which you don’t always want.

Thankfully they crank things up noticeably with ‘Back & Forth’. Again, it’s instantly recognisable as a Foo Fighters song, just not a classic. It appears to be doing all the right things, but once again something just feels missing.

‘A Matter of Time’ at least attempts to shake things up a bit. Not quite enough to make any discernable difference, but it gets a nod for trying at least. The guitars work a lot harder and the track benefits greatly for their effort.

‘Miss the Misery’ starts off promisingly enough, but sadly it all goes a bit too Bon Jovi.

It took a while getting there but ‘I should Have Known’ delivers the goods. It’s far from predictable, and has many curious twists and turns. The best produced track on the album too, nicely layered as it is.

Putting a full stop to the album is ‘Walk’. It’s got drive and a drop more passion about it than most of its musical compadres here. It’s still a tad on the lacklustre side, but doesn’t embarrass itself too much in public.

Maybe the problem is that Grohl is working too hard. If he took a little more time off inbetween projects, then perhaps the overall quality would be higher. Higher than this, certainly. It’s not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination; it shows real promise in places, but just doesn’t go for it enough.

Dave Grohl needs to take more chances with Foo material, otherwise there’s very little point in churning out formulaic rock. It’s good enough for other bands, but the world just expects more from Grohl godamnit.

Wasting Light attempts to rock your world, but doesn’t always succeed. It has classic elements of the band generally, but not enough to make it a classic album.

three out of five