It can’t be easy when you’ve been around as long as the Foo Fighters, both collectively and as the myriad of musical permutations of the individuals within the band, to come up with an album that sounds fresh and exciting but Concrete and Gold, the latest offering by the Foos, is just that.
From the moment I first heard the first single “Run” I felt like we were in for a bumper release. The track showcases the best of all things Foo – the gentle introduction lulling you into a false sense of mellow right before they hit you with full rock bombast and Dave Grohl trademark rock-god scream, all on top of a breakneck beat. If you’ve seen the video, directed by Grohl, it’s not hard to relate to the reinvogoration of the senior citizens when plied with this soundtrack.
Sunday Rain, featuring no less than Paul McCartney on drums, is another opportunity for Taylor Hawkins to demonstrate his vocal talents. Having at least two strong vocalists in one band must be a nice problem to have and it’s always a pleasure to hear Hawkins take the reins.
It’s hard to pick a favourite track and god knows I keep changing my mind each time I play the album through but I’m pretty attached to “Dirty Water”. Deceptively upbeat and light for the first half of the five and half minutes it takes a sharp u-turn at the mid-point into a deliciously heavy tune that definitely encourages some hearty Grohl-esque vocal attempts during the freeway commute. This is the one I want to hear live the most.
Producer Greg Kurstin, the songwriter and musician who has worked with Adele, Beck, Sia, and Lana Del Rey – to name but a few of his extensive collaborations, brings a new resonance to the Foo Fighters with his arrangements and phenomenal harmonies. Each track has been enriched by his creative input and the balance between the angelic and choral vocal arrangements and the ballsy style of the Foos is masterful.
Concrete and Gold vaults the Foo Fighters back out of their recent hiatus with an album that leaves no question over why they are consistently selling out stadiums the world over. It’s undoubtedly Foo Fighters at the core, but with layers of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, and the quirky unshakeable likeness, at least for me, to a Tim Burton movie score.
This is the Foo Fighters on sonic steroids.
Review Score: 9.6 out of 10.
Concrete and Gold is out now.