Forget all that nonsense about Dave Grohl listening to the Bee Gees and ABBA when writing Wasting Light. You can even forget Bob Mould's killer cameo on "Dear Rosemary,” no matter how seamlessly the Hüsker Dü frontman’s patented growl slides into the Foo Fighters' roar. What really matters is that nearly ten years after Songs for the Deaf, Josh Homme's influence finally rears its head on a Foo Fighters record, Dave Grohl leading his band of merry marauders -- including Pat Smear, who returns to the fold for the first time since 1997’s The Colour and the Shape -- through the fiercest album they’ve ever made. Nowhere is Homme's tightly defined muscle felt as strongly as it is on "White Limo," a blast of heavy sleaze that's kind of a rewrite of "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar,” yet Grohl isn’t thieving -- he’s tweaking his frequent bandmate with a song that could have graced SFTD or Them Crooked Vultures. That sense of humor is welcome on Wasting Light, nearly as welcome as the guitars that ring loud and long. Things tend to crawl on the ballads, as they usually do on a Foos record, but these slower spots have a stately dignity that contrasts well with the untrammeled rock of the rest of the album. Perhaps Butch Vig -- working with Grohl for the first time since Nevermind (and that’s not the only Nirvana connection, as Krist Novoselic plays bass on “I Should Have Known”) -- should take some credit for the ferocious sound of Wasting Light, but the album isn’t the Foo Fighters' best since their ‘90s heyday because of its sound; it’s their best collection of songs since The Colour and the Shape, the kind of record they’ve always seemed on the verge of delivering but never have.
Wasting Light Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine