For Fans Of
In an age where we are bombarded with every fucking musing that comes from the mind and mouth of Dave Ghrol (and if not him, then it’s Corey Taylor or some other giant ego), sometimes you just want some damn music to help balance out all the click-bait bullshit. Well, if you’ve been sick of hearing about the frontman of what is arguably one of rock’s biggest bands, you’ve now got some new music to dig into.
Recorded at the Saint Cecilia Hotel in Austin, Texas, which was a very care-free, “unorthodox” space to record in, this new five-track EP really reflects the environment in which it was created. First, there’s no pressure for this to sell by the truckloads. It’s not quite as polished as their full-length records (though still good in production and also mix wise), though it’s rawer and it’s got a bit of everything that makes up that typical Foo sound; a range of the loud, bright and brash with the soft, dark and slow. Each track feels and sounds quite different from the last, yet all of that still comes with one big issue. That being the fact that the creation of this release is way, way more interesting than the music itself, which was the bane of ‘Sonic Highways‘ – a somewhat decent album with a far better story of how it was made.
Now, let’s face it, this is the fucking Foo Fighters – they ain’t gonna suddenly turn into an atmospheric shoegaze band anytime soon (though that’d be off its collective tits if they did). So while this EP is good, it’s not really that innovative. Of course good music doesn’t have to be innovative or revolutionary, but it does have to be engaging, and this reviewer feels that three-fifth’s of this EP just doesn’t quite cut it. Ghrol and co. are more than capable of writing those songs, it’s just lacking here.
Ergo, songs like ‘Iron Rooster’, a weird, slow, acoustic track that the band occasionally churns out for their main releases is a pretty weak song overall. The opening title track and the closer, ‘The Neverending Sigh’, are the big, mid to fast rock songs that the band has recorded and released over and over for donkey years now. They aren’t bad songs; it’s just that they are safer than a couple using condoms, the pill, and the rhythm method for birth control.
However, we now get to the goods; the two tracks that really lift ‘Saint Cecilia‘ out of the gutter and up onto the golden layered footpath that it deserves. The first is ‘Sean’, this short, hazy, and gritty garage rock song. It goes back to a much older time for the band. The other is the scathing ‘Savior Breath’, a noisy, punchy track soaked right to the bone in distortion, from the guitars to the vocals, and it is arguably the best of the bunch, if only for its unbridled energy. These two songs alone have made this reviewer far more excited about the band than he’s been in years. It’s just a shame they comprise the minority of the EP, meaning it’ll leave some wanting.
Look, it’s the bloody Foo Fighters, you know how they sound and how their songs tend to go. There’s plenty of their formula embedded deep within these tracks, and yet a track like ‘Savior Breath’ (or even ‘Sean’) feels very fresh and shows that the group can still do the rock world some justice. Hopefully their next record shows some of the same guts and energy that ‘Saint Cecilia’ displays in parts. Also, it’s quite commendable that the band dedicated this to EP to those affected by the awful events that happened in Paris earlier this month. As it’s streaming publicly and offered as a free download, the band is encouraging people to donate to the families of the attacks in Paris, so check it out on their website and help out in whatever way you can.
3. Savior Breath
4. Iron Rooster
5. The Neverending Sigh