Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways

“Because you have things like 'American Idol', and you've got radio stations that play music made entirely by computers, it's easy to forget there are bands with actual people playing actual instruments that rock.”
 
And so it goes…  Dave Grohl’s quest to keep the fire of rock burning, in an age of iMac superstars, rolls on, this time in the form of a musical outing that bridges 8 cities across the USA, and spans across multiple platforms including a TV series and album of the same name, a trans-continental quest to unearth the grimy sweaty musical roots at the melting-pot core of each city,  then mould it all together into a track inspired by each city’s beating heart.  It is clear over the course of the show that there is a strong lean towards the bands and genres that Grohl was involved with directly, or influenced by in some way along the course of his own musical evolutionary pathway, and thus the term Sonic Highway appears to allude to not only the bands physical journey across America, but indeed to Grohl’s own journey. The series is slickly edited and Grohl makes a point of staying off-camera and leaving the lime-light to his subjects who come from a wide diversity of musical genres, although it is with wry amusement there are only cursory backhand references to a few contemporary artists from electronica and hip-hop who hail from the cities in question, the likes of Kanye, presumably bypassed as they would undoubtedly look out of place in this portrait of raw and roots rock, jazz and blues.
 
The Foo Fighter’s eighth studio outing doesn’t stray too far from their tried and tested two-decade old formula, but hey, the formula for beer hasn’t changed too radically in a few centuries and it doesn’t seem to have dropped off the radar yet.
 
They're an odd entity, the Foos. With one hand they giveth, like the ethereal 'Everlong', one of the greatest rock tracks of modern times, but with the other they throw shit at the wall and some of it inexplicably sticks, like their long-running catalogue of boring, inoffensive radio rock singles over the last decade. Sonic Highways isn't outwardly attributed to one of these metaphorical extremities, for the most part, but certainly has the coolest title of any of their records to date.

FOO FIGHTERS : SONIC HIGHWAYS


“Because you have shows like 'American Idol', and you've got radio stations that play music made entirely by computers, it's easy to forget there are bands out there with actual people playing actual instruments that rock...”

 
And so it goes…  Dave Grohl’s quest to keep the fire of rock burning, in an age of iMac superstars, rolls on, this time in the form of a musical outing that bridges 8 cities across the USA, and spans across multiple platforms including a TV series and album of the same name, a trans-continental quest to unearth the grimy sweaty musical roots at the melting-pot core of each city,  then mould it all together into a track inspired by each city’s beating heart.  It is clear over the course of the show that there is a strong lean towards the bands and genres that Grohl was involved with directly, or influenced by in some way along the course of his own musical evolutionary pathway, and thus the term Sonic Highway appears to allude to not only the bands physical journey across America, but indeed to Grohl’s own journey. The series is slickly edited and Grohl makes a point of staying off-camera and leaving the lime-light to his subjects who come from a wide diversity of musical genres, although it is with wry amusement there are only cursory backhand references to a few contemporary artists from electronica and hip-hop who hail from the cities in question, the likes of Kanye, presumably bypassed as they would undoubtedly look out of place in this portrait of raw and roots rock, jazz and blues.

FF large 1
 
The Foo Fighter’s eighth studio outing doesn’t stray too far from their tried and tested two-decade old formula, but hey, the formula for beer hasn’t changed too radically in a few centuries and it doesn’t seem to have dropped off the radar yet.
 
They're an odd entity, the Foos. With one hand they giveth, like the ethereal 'Everlong', one of the greatest rock tracks of modern times, but with the other they throw shit at the wall and some of it inexplicably sticks, like their long-running catalogue of boring, inoffensive radio rock singles over the last decade. Sonic Highways isn't outwardly attributed to one of these metaphorical extremities, for the most part, but certainly has the coolest title of any of their records to date.
 
The first three tracks on the album epitomise the best sounds of the band in recent memory: “Something From Nothing” is a brilliant opener, capturing that sweet union between tear-jerking softness and head-banging heaviness explored in Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace (2007), while “Feast and the Famine” and “Congregation” tap into Wasting Light’s hard rock sounds with their breakdowns and throat-wrenching screams. “I Am a River” screams Foo Fighters at the peak of their powers, backing up an extended moody intro with all the hallmarks of angsty anthemic radio-friendly unit shifter (excuse the Nirvana pun).

dave grohl 1
 
“I made it a point to avoid assuming the musical personality of each place,” Grohl recently told The New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I didn’t want to go to Chicago and make a blues song. I didn’t want to go Nashville and make a country song. I didn’t want to go to New Orleans and make a jazz song, because we’re the Foo Fighters, and it’s a Foo Fighters record.
 
“That was one of the first questions that HBO and people who we work with asked: ‘Are you going to assimilate and assume the sound of the city?’ No. We have to sound like the Foo Fighters. It can’t be contrived. It has to be real. But if we spend enough time there, it’s going to make its way in by osmosis.”
 
Sonic Highways is an epic Foo Fighters journey, both from a musical and visual point of view, and their road map becomes clearer and more intriguing with each listen.
 
 ff sonic hw

 
For more information, visit www.foofighters.com 

 

advertisers click here