CD Review of Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace by Foo Fighters
Recommended if you like
Motorhead, Nirvana,
Queens of the Stone Age
Label
Rosewell/RCA Records
Foo Fighters:
Echoes, Silence,
Patience & Grace

Reviewed by Red Rocker

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C
an you hear me?
Hear me screaming
Breaking in the muted sky
This thunder heart
Like bombs beating
Echoing a thousand miles

The echoes are back, kids. Those wonderful, thundering echoes of bombs beating and the sky breaking are back. Whether from 2005’s In Your Honor, the debut album from 1995, or their latest, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, the Foo Fighters are echoing their signature thousand-mile screams yet again. Though to take things like album titles literally would be a misstep, I suppose, since there is very little in the way of silence, patience or grace on this new one. So for now, let’s just stick with the echoes, shall we?

Foo Fighters

The big, visible ESPG songs are easy to review -- they’re vintage Foos. First single and video, “The Pretender,” is standard issue for these guys (and that’s a good thing) -- Dave Grohl howling repeatedly, “What if I say you’re not like the others?” over scores of guitars and a hammering arena-rock rhythm section in expected 4-minute fashion. No, the mold has not been shattered here. In fact, you could say it’s barely been scuffed. Same with “Let It Die,” “Erase/Replace,” and the quirky “Cheer Up, Boys (Your Makeup is Running),” which finds Grohl squealing like a stuck pig, “There’s a world out there, don’t you deny me!” as Taylor Hawkins flat plays the skins off his drums.

If there is a shake-up in the Foo Fighter formula this time around, it comes by way of a lingering hangover from last year’s Skin and Bones endeavor. “Stranger Things Have Happened” finds Grohl going it alone with only acoustic guitar in hand, but at least it has lyrics. “Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners” is nothing but an exercise in acoustic noodling, and neither of these would’ve ever made the cut on traditional Foo Fighters albums. But the high points are plenty lofty, and a gem like “Long Road to Ruin” makes more than ample amends for any brief misdirection. Oh, to have the creative leeway that these guys have earned! Keep right on ripping, boys, and whether your makeup runs or you go it acoustic, the masses will surely follow.

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