Foo Fighters are one of the biggest examples of a “love them or hate them” following. People who identify as a fan of the band tend to do it hard, creating die-hard fandom that’s made them one of the biggest rock bands of our time. Their latest studio effort, their eighth album Sonic Highways, has already been breaking boundaries due to its unique recording process and a paralleled HBO series (of the same name) that followed the band to eight cities across the USA.
Something that the Foos have mastered over their storied career is the cultivation of one sound that is very much theirs. Besides production quality and a bit of maturity growth in their song writing, the band has all but perfected their late 90’s gritty, yet melodic and attractive sound. This album was no exception, however there seems to be a bit of resistance due to various collaborations and recording environments. Tracks like “In The Clear” (done with assistance from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band) and “Subterranean” (featuring Ben Gibbard) come out as classic sounding Foo Fighters songs, however they do not all seem to fit in the same package as songs like the punk influenced “The Feast And The Famine.”
That being said, the eight track effort stands together like a strange, ragtag bunch of misfits that have found some sort of cohesiveness. With influences from eight different cities and ten collaborating artists, a strong-footed rock piece was spawned. Although the songs may not be what you expect to hear as a package-deal, the standalone results make the record as a whole worth it. From the first dreary finger strum in opener “Something From Nothing” to the fade out of the epic, seven minute album closer “I Am A River”, Sonic Highways proves that Dave Grohl and co.’s nationwide album wasn’t such a bad idea after all.