Rhythm & Views

Foo Fighters

It's strange to think that Dave Grohl was once the long-haired spindly dude whacking the piss out of the drums behind Kurt Cobain, because these days, he's Mr. Frontman Extraordinaire, the brains and brawn behind the Foo Fighters. Take a look at Grohl's dismembered drum kit on display at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, and listen to the Foo Fighters, and a few things become clear: He's an amazing drummer and a mediocre songwriter. He rocks balls, but he just doesn't have that extra thang. In other words, in rock-star class, he'd get a low B.

Every time you turn on MTV, you hear Dave Grohl talking about how In Your Honor, Foo Fighter's fifth full-length, is the record he wants to be remembered for. It's certainly their most ambitious release. There are two discs: one loud and electric, one acoustic and mellow, with intensity at both ends of the scale. The acoustic disc manages to maintain a Foo Fighters vibe without the screaming and distortion, so In Your Honor ends up being Foo Fighters for any occasion. There are tracks that stand out: "No Way Back" on the electric disc plays off a catchy riff, and "End Over End" sounds almost Soundgarden-esque. The acoustic disc has the simple "What If I Do?" and the haunting "Friend of a Friend," as well as a number of guest musicians (although the liner notes are completely unreadable, so it's hard to tell who's doing what). But in the end, it's the kind of music one likes, but does not love.

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