Returning from a short “Hiatus”, Dave Grohl and crew return with a follow up to their critically acclaimed 2011 release; Wasting Light.
Band: Foo Fighters
Album: Sonic Highways
It’s a real shame that Foo Fighters are often lumped under the label of ‘corporate rock’. Yes, they’re popular. Stratospherically so. But they have come so far; mainly due to the unrelenting vision and tireless hard work of Mr. Dave ‘Nicest man in rock’ Grohl. The level of work that goes into a Foo’s record is never more apparent than on Sonic Highways, the concept of which, was to record each of the album’s eight songs in a different city accross the USA.
Each with a different musical background, with the hope of capturing the character of the city and recording space in the sound and lyrics of individual tracks. This is further explored in the TV series which is currently airing on BBC4 in the UK – A documentary which follows the band around on their musical journey and features in-depth interviews with musical legends from the areas in question.
It’s a brand new approach to recording an album, and it has paid off massively. The result being the freshest, most uncompromising Foo Fighters album since their late nineties hey-day. Where Wasting Light was the return to form, Sonic Highways is the continuation of this, showcasing a band at the top of their game, absolutely oozing with confidence.
In terms of songs, due to the nature of the recording, and the subsequent variance in character between the individual tracks, it’s incredibly difficult to pick a highlight – a further dimension is also added by the inclusion of a guest musician from the city of recording, on each song.
However, crucially it’s even harder to pick a low-light as there genuinely aren’t any. Right from the Dio-esque riffing of opener ‘Something From Nothing’, to the beautifully written finale ‘I Am A River’, Sonic Highways is a magnificent journey, and a true masterclass in how a modern rock album should sound.
Grohl and crew are well and truly on the road to being considered all-time greats of rock music, and Sonic Highways is the proof that they really do deserve such an accolade.
Words – Alex Loach
Album available here