The [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Foo Fighters[/lastfm] gave us a present today by posting their forthcoming album Wasting Light on their Soundcloud page. This long-awaited album is now available for your listening pleasure.
Because we love you, we gave decided to have an hour binge of non-stop [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Foo Fighters[/lastfm] and give you our First Listen break-down.
While we’ve heard the album front to back at a number of LA-area secret shows, listening to this album at full volume for the first time was an intense experience. It felt like drinking half a bottle of Jägermeister while wrestling some scorching-hot leather clad brunettes. Or in simpler terms, this is heavy stuff, man.
Here’s our First Listen review of Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light:
1. “Burning Bridges”
Probably one of the most explosive beginnings to an album we can remember, this song starts with a Herculean rush of grungy feedback-scarred guitars, aggressive rapid-fire drumming, heavy, volatile instrumentation and an epic chorus complete with vicious guitar breakdown. “Burning Bridges” is raucous beer-pounding head-thrashing arena rock at its finest; the song has the ability to transport us immediately to the front of the pit and we can taste Dave Grohl’s hard-earned sweat on our faces.
The first single off Wasting Light, “Rope” starts with the ingenious rhythmic punch of guitar, one of those perfectly-crafted anxiety-riddled riffs that goes perfectly with Grohl’s scratchy cat-like yowl and lyrics like “this indecision got me climbing up the walls/I’ve been cheating gravity and waiting on the falls.” Foo Fighters has always been good at creating a picture with their music, literally pulling us in while Grohl sings “I’m pulling for you now,” and then “cutting us lose” with eerie moments that sound like heavy breathing in a silent room.
The kind of dark-tinged pop-ish love song that Foo Fighters are masters at creating, “Dear Rosemary” is one of those steel-hearted, heavy-footed expeditions into emotion that will inevitably become a sing-a-long karaoke hit. And that’s not a negative thing. The song is layered with harmonies and melancholic sentiments with lyrics like “You ran away/you ran away/it was right on cue” and a blunt ending of “now get away/get away/get away/ from me.”
If we couldn’t get a raw, visceral taste of Grohl’s subdued anger in “Dear Rosemary,” with the eerie almost malicious “White Limo” there is no doubt of it. This song is arguably Foo Fighters’ grunge-metal musical masterpiece with leanings towards the primitive, grinding guitar of Motorhead. Grohl’s hard-edged vocals crackle while he sings lyrics like “Go..Go..You’re never having to waste your lung” and we almost feel like he has spit up his lungs all over the stage.
One of the most melodic “rock” songs on Wasting Light, Arlandria isn’t boring as much as it doesn’t have the same sexy guitar-sawing as many of the other songs on the album. The Foos make up for it by setting a scene with moments of thoughtful hush interspersed with plaintive, primordial emotion. When Grohl sings, “You are not me/Arlandria/Arlandria/you and what army/Arlandria/Arlandria/oh God/You gotta make it stop,” you really think he wants to make it stop.
6. “These Days“
Up until this point, we forgot how sweet and slightly folk-twee Grohl can get with his voice. “These Days” shows off his ability to pull off highly multi-faceted vocalizations and an epic, multi-harmonic chorus based around a sentiment we can all understand : “Easy for you to say your heart has never been broken/Your pride has never been stolen.” Not one of our favorites, but definitely still a gorgeous song, especially with our brief glance behind Grohl’s golden veil of gigantic vocals.
7. “Back And Forth“
This is a sexy, pop-punkish kind-of “commercial” tune has sing-song lyrics that don’t even try at innuendo: “I’m looking for some back and forth with you/Are you feeling the same as I do?” “Back And Forth” is one of those songs that will make a great soundtrack sound. As usual, Grohl unravels an almost teenage love story and the expansive, driving guitars mimic the undulating rushes of 16-year-old testosterone.
8. “A Matter Of Time“
My first reaction to this song: They can’t all be great. Honestly, compared to a lot of other songs on the radio, this is infinitely better and the atypical, out-of-sync instrumental rhythm and lyrics are a nice experiment, but they don’t fit into the overall scope of what the Foo Fighters can do.
9.”Miss The Misery”
With a start that inspires completely unconscious head-nodding, the Foo Fighters thankfully pull out of the drab, driving beat of “A Matter of Time,” and write a stadium-worthy mid-tempo tune that has the classic hard-rock kick of greats like Guns ‘n Roses and AC/DC. From the collective lyrics so far in the album, including lyrics like “Miss the misery/need a reason for the change/need a reason to refrain” from “Miss The Misery,” it seems Grohl is missing some devilish, yet delicious woman in his life.
10. “I Should Have Known“
Starting off slow-paced, hazy with reverb like a Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen song, this dense, sultry ballad continues the theme of the femme fatale with plaintive screams of “I should have known” and “lay your hands in mine/heal me one last time/though I cannot forgive you yet/no I cannot forgive you yet.” There is a part when a thick, penetrating bassline comes in and tears the heart asunder,which made me literally gasp. One of the more “gorgeous” songs on the album and definitely my favorite.
Even if this isn’t the best song on the album, it’s the perfect closing song. Like a heavy rock version of a Charles Dickens novel, Grohl has the ability to make us as nostalgic as we are forward-thinking while still keeping us present in the lyrical magic of his story, with starting lyrics like “I think I lost my way/getting good at starting over/every time that I return.” Cannibalistic guitars are punctuated with jackhammer drumming and Grohl passionately protesting “forever and ever/I never want to die/I’m on my knees/I never want to die/I’m dancing on my grave/I never want to die.”
If the Foo Fighters keep making albums like Wasting Light, Grohl won’t have to worry about that. They will be immortal as heavy rock superstars.
What are the music critics saying?
NME weighed in on Wasting Light with a First Listen review and gave it overwhelmingly positive feedback, saying:
So this restores Dave as the everyperson’s Rock God, but it also recasts the Foos as more of an actual, collective band than ever. We’re just going to say it. This is the best Foo Fighters album since ‘The Color And The Shape.’
Spin Magazine agrees and also gives Wasting Light huge rave reviews while likening it to The Color And The Shape:
‘Wasting Light ‘is much more than a salad-days nostalgia trip — it’s Grohl’s most memorable set of songs since 1997′s ‘The Color and the Shape.’ Three-guitar riff bombs, like “Bridge Is Burning” and “White Limo,” brandish real heavy-metal muscle, while the insanely catchy “Back and Forth” summons some of ‘Nevermind”s poisoned-pop frenzy. In “I Should Have Known,” with Novoselic on bass, Grohl even snatches back the bluesy power ballad from Kings of Leon. But nowhere does this seen-it-all survivor seem more engaged than he does in “Walk,” where over a typically surging arena-emo groove he convincingly describes his determination to “keep alive a moment at a time.” Sounds simple, feels anything but.
Entertainment Weekly has the same verdict:
Foo Fighters never feel like a backward-looking band. Light is a muscular rock & roll throwdown, featuring the Foos delivering exactly the kind of catchy, pummeling anthems they’re known for, with total disregard for the whims of the masses.
What are people in the Twitter-sphere saying?
Listening the new album of FOO FIGHTERS: Wasting Light. It's great…amazing.—
Pol Barrós (@dryxer) April 01, 2011
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