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Wasting Light
Foo Fighters Wasting Light
Released 8 April 2011
Producer Butch Vig
Label RCA
Length 47:53
Genre Alternative rock
Website www.foofighters.com

In 1994 –following the suicide of Kurt Cobain– Dave Grohl single-handedly recorded a collection of songs he had written during his time in Nirvana. These songs, recorded on tape in Grohl’s home, were released a year later as Foo Fighters, the debut album of a band which soon shot to a massive level of fame. While Grohl’s style of frenzied, stripped back playing was clearly influenced by his time in Nirvana, Foo Fighters was very much a change of direction for Grohl. Over the next sixteen years the Foos became one of the biggest rock bands in the world, and Grohl went from playing in his basement to headlining stadiums.

For Wasting Light Grohl took his band out of the studio and back to his garage. The album was recorded in a short space of time using basic equipment, and it shows. It has the raw, unpolished sound that made Foo Fighters so great, and was notably absent from the Foos last two albums (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and In Your Honor).

Wasting Light comes out all guns blazing, with the opening track 'Bridge Burning', a hard, fast rocker with pounding drums and sizzling riffs. The pace keeps up through super tracks like 'Rope' and 'Dear Rosemary' without relenting. Unlike other Foos albums there are few slow or acoustic moments on Wasting Light. Not that this is a bad thing either, this album works because of the intensity– it feels like Grohl and co. just impulsively started playing, and didn’t stop until they had finished the final song.

This may also be the Foos album which Nirvana fans have been waiting for, as it sees some serious collaboration from a number of key players from Grohl’s Nirvana days. Pat Smear (who toured with Nirvana as a second guitarist) is back as a permanent member of the band, and Butch Vig (who produced Nevermind) is onboard as a producer. Furthermore one of the best songs on the album features Krist Novoselic –'I Should Have Known' is pure expression of complicated emotions– angry, but also very beautiful.

The best thing that can be said about Wasting Light is that it sounds like it was recorded in Dave Grohl’s garage– it has the intensity of a band used to playing to stadiums crammed into a tiny space, then shaken up and let loose. This is the Foo Fighters doing what they do best, letting rip with a heavy yet extremely rhythmic collection of songs.

- Bernard O’Rourke