One of rock music’s most popular and beloved bands the Foo Fighters are back with their eighth full length studio album. Titled, Sonic Highways the eight track effort is one of the most experimental records the band has ever recorded. Produced and recorded in eight different studios throughout the U.S., Sonic Highways is a solid contribution to the groups signature sound and discography.
Clocking in at just forty-two minutes the band has not given themselves a whole lot of time to distribute their hard-hitting rock and roll. Of course a record should never be judged by its length, but instead should be reviewed on the quality of its content. Starting on all burners from the very start with newly released single “Something From Nothing”, the band lends itself to the song with a slow build-up before a crescendo of guitars and drums wash over the listener. Continuing with adrenaline fueled rock track “The Feast And The Famine” is a perfect transition to a more energetic pace. Lead frontman Dave Grohl’s howls, backed by heavy guitar strumming make this a fiery appetizer to the album.
The next two tracks seem as if they are tailor made for radio play. “Congregation” and “What Did I Do?/God As My Witness” are both catchy hook driven tracks that show off the bands simple but excellent songwriting. Slowing down just a notch with “Outside”, the band focuses on instrumental play during the song with short bursts of sound that are followed by an elongated riff section that keeps the listener wired to the record. Quickly followed by track six “In The Clear”, one of the more stadium rock sounding songs on the record, it draws in the listener with an easily memorable chorus and powerful backing guitar riffs. This all leads to the slowest paced track on the album, “Subterranean”. Maybe slow is not the right word to describe the track as it is more mid-tempo then anything. The song begins with a moody atmosphere before becoming more of a light-hearted romp of a track that gives off a laid back feel. This track is the complete opposite of the albums finale.
“I Am A River”, is the final song on the record and is seven minutes of pure rock and roll joy from start to finish. Starting off with a slow build up that leads into one of the more upbeat and epic tracks on the whole entire album. “I Am A River” is classic Foo Fighters and implements all of the elements that make the band hard to turn away from. A fitting way to end the bands eighth studio album and will transfer nicely to a live setting. Sonic Highways is not the bands best album but it is in no way an experiment gone wrong either. Still sounding like they are ready to bring the house down with their seasoned style of rock n’ roll, the band continues to grow with the times. All the while they still retain the spark that has led them to become of one of the greatest modern rock outfits in the world. Some of the album is a little bland near the middle, but it is such a short musical offering from the band that the good most certainly outweighs the bad. The Foo Fighters tried something new and put out a solid record that is not their greatest, but will satisfy fans and new listeners alike.
Final Grade: B