By Ryan Zerfas:
The new Foo Fighters release (it’s been four years since 2007’s Echoes, Patience, Silence and Grace) stays true to its namesake, Wasting Light, a lyric taken from the ninth classic rock track “Miss the Misery.” It’s clearly Grohl and company referencing getting the most out of your days, your life and fulfilling your soul’s genuine desires. Carpe Diem, rockers!
Always looking to shake up the bottle kinetically building for the latest pop explosion, the Foo Fighters made a few dynamic throttle adjustments this time around. 1) They enlisted famed producer Butch Vig (known best for the power-crunch of Niravna’s Nevermind) 2) They added a third guitar to the mix with original Foo Fighters and former Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear (last appeared on Foo Fighters’ second album The Color and the Shape) 3) lastly, the album was recorded not only away from Studio 606, but all analog (remember tape, y’all?) in Dave Grohl’s cloistered garage.
What ensued is an album, that in catalog stature, holds parallel firepower to Green Day’s American Idiot. No, there won’t be a Broadway show, eye make up, or pandemonium driven album sales (that doesn’t actually happen anymore!?), but critically, commercially and perhaps interpersonally, this album revives a band that had become viewed by others (not this guy) as slightly stagnant.
Rock ‘em, sock em’ knob turner Butch Vig did an excellent job straining the Foo Fighters vast recording aspirations to the two or three things they do best. Crunching guitars. Thundering teeth gritting drums. And stadium worthy catchy rock choruses. The K.I.S.S. method never sounded so simple.
I see the relationship between Grohl and Vig during this process being very similar to Lou Brown coaching Willie Mays Hayes in Major League. Stop swinging for the fences, put the ball on the ground and use your God given speed. Pushups for Mays Hayes when a pop up is in the air split screen with Dave Grohl rewriting a guitar line that, and to quote Dave Grohl’s impression of Vig, “was not heavy enough.”
This may not be the best album the Foo Fighters have ever recorded, but it’s a straight forward collection of rock songs that when strung together, consecutively, 11-strong, rivals The Color and the Shape. It’s at least in the conversation. A conversation that ends, “can’t you see I’ve waited enough?”
Yes, yes I did. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this album. And thank you.