Review: Concrete and Gold by Foo Fighters

Concrete and Gold by Foo FightersSo, um, what can the Foo Fighters get wrong? The better question is, how will the Foo Fighters get anything wrong? The answer isn’t necessarily “because they’re a brilliant band, that’s why” – although then that sounds mean. Dave Grohl and his gang are reliable. They’ve gotten their formula right, and while it doesn’t really excite anyone much anymore – “oh hey, they have a new single! Yeah, good to know” – you’ll know it’ll at least be solid. Concrete and Gold is that. Solid. But then, unlike their previous more recent efforts, it doesn’t really quite get it all together. It plods along more – and I’m trying not to be cynical here. It’s, well, fine, but, you know, what is this for again? What else am I getting here? And why is nothing sticking, especially when you expect it to do so, somehow? [NB]2/5

Review: Saint Cecilia by Foo Fighters

Saint Cecilia by Foo FightersSaint Cecilia is a surprise (and free) EP from the Foo Fighters, with five songs recorded at a hotel of the same name in Austin. Due to the circumstances around its release – the mysterious countdown on their website ended in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris – the band dedicated the record to the victims. But don’t look at this through the prism of lots of meaning. The best part about Saint Cecilia is how straightforward it is compared to their last record, the ambitious (to a fault) Sonic Highways. The Foos are just having fun here; for the most part, there’s nothing that stretches on too long, with an energy that bounces off the wall. After the perfunctory first track, “Sean” and “Savior Breath” just lets loose reminding us that, if they choose to just let their hair down, the Foos can deliver. Not that they haven’t before – if anything, the Foos have always delivered; that’s their thing – but you don’t have to think too much sometimes. [NB]4/5

Review: Sonic Highways by Foo Fighters

Sonic Highways by Foo FightersWhat should your expectations of a Foo Fighters album be? Is it just hype that they’re one of the biggest bands in the world today, that their appeal still cuts across folks who endlessly proclaim their 90s cred and the new generation of bewildered ones (and not to those who think anything Dave Grohl does is shit)? Is it because they can still do good stadium anthems well? Is it because the concept of their eighth record, Sonic Highways, sees them travel across eight American cities, steeped in musical history, and make songs out of it (and in their facilities)? Did the band really need an HBO series to elevate this record into something of immense cultural significance? Should they have just presented this as Just Another Foo Fighters Record, But With Joe Walsh Doing A Solo Somewhere? What does Sonic Highways really want to be? Is it a love letter to America, made by one of its most popular sons? Or is it a record of sing-along stompers that just happen to be made in eight different places? [NB]3/5