“These are my famous last words” is the first line on the album’s opening track Bridge Burning from the Foo Fighters‘ seventh album Wasting Light. A record of crunchy guitars, songs with hooks and lots of drums.
The popularity of rock music has seen better days. Rock radio has branched out slightly to embrace a lighter sound as has Billboard’s definition. Rock bands have been succumbing to the pressures of the industry that continues to sway its priority toward music that has an instant hook and is quickly recognizable, not to mention the efforts put forth to save money.
Rock music is also one of the few genres in which genre-backtracking and “returning to one’s roots” is seen as being admirable. It’s a common promise for veteren bands to make a claim that their next record is a return to their original sound. Very few ever follow through on their promise as far as their recorded medium is concerned. The Foo Fighters, however, have delivered on their promise that rock is not dead.
Despite the occasional deviation from their sound, such as 2005’s acoustic half of In Your Honor, or their gradually softening sound, like the single Wheels from their Greatest Hits record, the band shows no signs of lightening up after over a decade and a half since their first record. From the epic opening of Bridge Burning and the album’s first single Rope, it’s obvious that these two tracks provide foreshadowing for what is a rocking album. Dave Grohl has revealed that the record was made using analogue recording equipment in his garage rather than opting for the more modern approached that they’ve grown accustomed to. What you have are basic rock songs that sound full and pack a punch in their recorded form but would also fill the biggest stadium.
What’s offered on Wasting Light isn’t anything new in the way of rock music. And maybe that’s the point. With so much focus put on trying to come up with something new, it seems insight is lost on the basics and the foundation. Instead, they set out to make a fierce rock album and they’ve definitely succeeded. Take a listen to Arlandria, Dear Rosemary or the singles Rope and Walk, the latter of which has more elements to their more recent songs such as Revolve. What there is is a set of catchy, heavy tunes that should help get the ball rolling on revitalizing a genre left out of the big leagues.
1. Bridge Burning
3. Dear Rosemary
4. White Limo
6. These Days
7. Back And Forth
8. A Matter Of Time
9. Miss The Misery
10. I Should Have Known