So the Foos are back then; the nicest man with a potty mouth in rock returns with his band of noisemakers. The ninth Foo Fighters studio album marks a return to a more normal approach after 2014’s smorgasbord of influences that heralded the dual documentary/album combo that was Sonic Highways. As interesting as that project was it’s nice to hear the band move back to something more cohesive, more Foos.
Whilst they sell tickets by the bucket load, and Dave Grohl is roundly loved by pretty much everyone, their sound hasn’t been the edgiest in the past and Concrete and Gold won’t be nudging, never mind pushing, any boundaries anytime soon. Ever in fact. What their ninth album is though is pure concentrated Foo Fighters, probably the purest distillation of the band so far. Whether it’s lead single ‘Run’ or ‘Arrows’ it’s familiar stuff, the riffs, the beats, Dave’s vocal tics, they’re all there.
On the odd occasion though there’s the sense of something more, ”Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)’ has a lightness of touch, something a bit Beatles-y, ‘The Sky Is A Neighborhood’ has an ambition that’s been missing from much of the Foos output over the last six years both in its scope and its production, and then there’s the middle duo of the raucous ‘La Dee Da’ and the muted ‘Dirty Water’. It is an album that bears repeated listening and grows in appreciation of its subtleties the more you hear it. Concrete and Gold might well be the slight course correction Foo Fighters needed to keep themselves, and us, interested.