I get it; I am supposed to be reviewing albums but I couldn’t pass this up. Think of this as less of a review and more of a conversation piece. Foo Fighters were coming onto the scene when I was in 4th or 5th grade. These were the days of Carson Daly and TRL, with MTV still a channel that promoted music. I saw an interview with Dave Grohl about how Foo Fighters came to be. He fielded a lot of questions about Kurt Cobain, moving on from Nirvana, and switching from drums to the front of the band. Then, he grabbed an acoustic guitar and played This Is a Call, the band’s first single. I remember thinking that this man could do absolutely anything.
Fast forward to 2012. Foo Fighters won the Grammy for best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for White Limo. They were nominated against Megadeth, Mastodon, and Dream Theater who were celebrating big releases — but somehow, some way, Dave Grohl was the one on stage giving a speech about his metal song. I remember a lot of people were very unhappy about this. How could the same band that had catchy, almost poppy songs like Learn to Fly and made music videos that featured Tenacious D in comedy sketches win a Grammy for metal? I mean, wasn’t White Limo on the same album as Walk — which spent time at the top of the pop charts?
And now we have Run. This is my favorite kind of song. It starts slow and quiet, with a slow build reminiscent of Foo Fighters classics like The Pretender. And then it blows up. Heavy cymbals, guitars and bass in syncopation, grinding on rhythms slightly out of key, and screaming vocals. It is hard, it is fast, it is heavy. This song rocks. In true Foo Fighters fashion, they released a music video that continues the trend of not taking themselves too seriously. And in typical Foo Fighters fashion, people are talking about it.
Dave Grohl is my favorite musician, for a lot of reasons. I have seen Foo Fighters 7 times — each time they play for around 3 hours. Dave screams and plays his guitar until his fingers bleed. And each time I see them the set gets longer. But every time they hit Everlong to close the show, he sounds as good as he did hours ago. Dave has been in several projects, including Nirvana’s generation defining grunge, classic/alternative rock with Them Crooked Vultures (which is one of the most talented group of musicians I can think of), and has even recorded an EP that can be classified as country with the Zac Brown Band. My point is that this guy has been involved in a wide variety of solid music, and has never really cared what his music has been classified. He just wants to make amazing music. I won’t call Foo Fighters a metal band; but I won’t be surprised if Run follows in the footsteps of White Limo.
What do you think, Spinning Thoughts? Are we too quick to dismiss music for what it is, based on genre and perception?
JBone — Hard Rock/Metal Contributor. Follow Jay on Twitter: @JBoneBass