The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

Wasting Light
Sony, 2011



By Shane Pinnegar


We all know why major labels and radio are so scared of REAL rock n’ roll nowadays – conservative advertisers worrying about the almighty dollar rule playlists, not talent or consumer tastes. Consumer tastes are now, in fact, dictated by what advertisers force feed them rather than consumer’s actual tastes – proving that the masses are, in effect, little more than sheep.


However, there are still a few bands that the big boys take notice to and aren’t scared to release. Old schoolers like Maiden and Ozzy, for instance, who both issued great albums on EMI and Sony respectively in 2010. EMI even took a punt on the latest Motorhead in a brave gamble that deserves kudos.


As for the new kids, Sony proudly fly the Slash flag for their fix of r n’ f’n r, and they're cuurently VERY excited to have The Foo Fighters, who over seven albums have crossed over to the mainstream with little compromise of their indie meets hard rock meets grunge sound, due mainly to Dave Grohl’s deft combination of rock riffs and pop melodies.


After a few albums of “same old, same old”, Dave steers the good ship Foo Fighters back onto course with “Wasting Light”, getting ex-Nirvana band (first) mate Krist Novoselic on board for a tune, and welcoming guitarist Pat Smear – another ex-Nirvana alumni – back into the fold as a full-time member. Just to labour the Nirvana connection (and the nautical analogy), Butch Vig produces admirably. (*groan*)


Never JUST rock n’ roll, Dave peppers each of the 11 tracks here with something a little different – ‘White Limo’ tips the FF keel towards hardcore & thrash, ‘Dear Rosemary’ is a little bit psychedelic, ‘Arlandria’ is a catchy number that would be a worthy backup single after ‘A Matter Of Time’ and ‘Back And Forth’s irresistible choruses are done with – there’s no ‘My Hero’ or ‘Evermore’ here, but these two are close enough to please the troops.


It ALL sounds like the Foos of course, and that’s doubtless why Sony love it and are pushing it so hard, and why it’s all over your radio already, and will be for the next year or so. Radio will feel they have met their quota of “rock” and the flock will get a taste of riffage and feel appeased. But, like Dave’s reputation as rock’s “Mister Nice Guy”, there’s just something TOO nice and too “aimed to please” about the Foo Fighters.


A good album – certainly their best since the first 3, but personally (and I know this is selfish), I’d rather Probot II!