Graham Reid | | 1 min read
With the enormusly popular Foo Fighters about to descend on New Zealand again -- riding the back of their most successful if familiar-sounding album in years, Wasting Light -- it seems timely to go back to where their story began in the mid Nineties . . . with this debut which was a Dave Grohl solo project in effect.
In my review of Wasting Light I suggested this was the album -- and specificially the fun-times video for the single Big Me -- which marked the end of the grunge era. Kurt/Nirvana angst was out, big toothy-grin Grohl/Foo Fighters cathartic pop-cum-metal-edged rock was in.
That it began with This Is A Call was, in retrospect, somehow as significant as the Clean's Tally Ho marking the start of the Flying Nun era. And with barely a pause the album goes straight into I'll Stick Around (which some wrongly read as a farewell note to Cobain) which was also telling.
Grohl/Foos have been much derided by critics who have written him/them off as dilettantes. (After more than 15 years? C'mon, get over it guys.) But there was no denying this debut, on which Grohl played just about every instrument, was a breath of fresh air after the sometimes stultifying and claustrophobic noise of some latter-day "grunge" bands marketing depression to teenagers, which isn't hard to do.
And Big Me is still a pretty catchy pop song.
This sounded nothing like "a drummer's album" and Grohl could crank out some memorable melodies, many of which are still in the Foo's set today.
From a modest cassette (as this was originally) to stadiums was a rapid rise, but Grohl mostly handled it without making the mistakes he'd seen others make.
And this album stands up well.
Dave Grohl is interviewed at the time of this album's release here.