Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
June 2nd, 2008 | 189 replies | 26,740 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Surprising one-man debut combines punk, rock & melodic pop interestingly. Raw, impressive musically & packed with potential via scattered ideas, not everything comes together & the memorability factor is inconsistent.

You can almost mentally picture the scenario… Ideas are being pitched around by a rock band during recording sessions. The drummer keeps chiming in with some suggestions. “Hey, why don’t we make that track poppier?” “That song would sound better by making the vocals more melodic over the heavy music”. No verbal reply is given… The drummer just gets ignored and more attention is paid to passing roadies. So what does the drummer do? He begins to jot down his own notes and write his own songs, as one day he will front a side project. Meet Dave Grohl, former drummer of the worldwide critically acclaimed band Nirvana.

Following the death of Kurt Cobain, Grohl fronted the Foo Fighters. Check that… He was the Foo Fighters. Not only does the former drummer perform all vocals on this album, but he practically plays every musical instrument as well. The band’s other members were only brought in after this LP’s release to tour the album. For all intents and purposes, this album is made by Dave Grohl: Solo Artist. It’s almost as if this is a demo in many ways. There are ideas scattered here, there and everywhere. The sound and production are raw. I am unsure if even Grohl realized how successful the album would turn out!

One of the main reasons for this debut’s success is Grohl’s ability to combine what is basically modified punk rock music with intriguing pop sensibilities and harmonies. This is apparent in the first 2 singles (and opening 2 tracks) ‘This Is a Call’ and ‘I’ll Stick Around’. On first listen, they surprise you and actually have you questioning what type of music you are listening to. On reflection, the uneasy mix on paper has a sense of being the best of many worlds in reality. It’s not hardcore punk, but it’s not mainstream rock either. Meanwhile, Grohl’s vocals range from smoothly melodic to intense and on the verge of screaming.

While hooks are also apparent in the 2 openers, lyrics may not be Grohl’s strong point. ‘This Is a Call’ contains lines such as “Fingernails are pretty, fingernails are good”. While ‘I’ll Stick Around’ (along with a few other songs on this album) includes a sparsely worded repetitive chorus. Although it is difficult not to think that the “I don’t owe you anything… I’ll Stick Around” punchline isn’t at least a little Nirvana related.

If those first 2 songs don’t have you listening intently, then track 3 ‘Big Me’ definitely will. An absolute revelation, this 4th single is a sweet and charming 2 minute ballad which can actually be compared to, of all bands, The Beatles. Whether this is what the masses want to hear from Grohl or not, this song is admittedly impressive from a vocal standpoint.

Elsewhere, the album almost seems run of the mill compared to the first 3 tracks and there is nothing too memorable, but it is all still pretty good when judged in isolation. The mid-section has a number of solid rockers that are either nicely driven by guitar riffs (‘Alone + Easy Target’, the melodic ‘Oh George’ and the raucous 2 minute punk rocker ‘Wattershed') or impressive drum-work (‘Good Grief').

There are some misses amongst the hits unfortunately. ‘Floaty’ begins acoustically and hints at something different, but ends up rather mundane. Ditto for ‘X-Static’. The distorted vocals of ‘Weenie Beenie’ pretty much ruin that track. While the moody 5 minute closer ‘Exhausted’ is decent, if unmemorable. Thankfully, in amongst the latter half of the album is 3rd single ‘For All The Cows’, which could be the bravest song here. Don’t ask me about the lyrics, but the combination of sweet melodies in the verses and a rocking chorus work well and ends up a hint of the slow/fast structure that would later become synonymous with the band. For that reason, this could very well be the most important track in Foo Fighters history!

So at the end of the day, what can be made of this debut album? Well, it really does depend on the ear of the individual listener. The raw production doesn’t exactly help maximize some of the songs appeal, yet assists in adding personality to others. Meanwhile, some tracks include some neat ideas but don’t totally capitalize on the potential to make them great. However, this is an impressive album in many ways, as the guitar-work is surprisingly top-notch at times, while the mixture of punk, rock and melodic pop is at the very least interesting, if not consistently memorable.

Recommended Tracks: Big Me, This Is a Call & For All The Cows.



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user ratings (1198)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • KILL (4.5)
    exhausted is better...

    DhA (4)
    Nirvana in a candy shop....

    Ruthlessgrunge (3)
    The start of Foo Fighters proves to be an average attempt. This album tends to be forgetab...

    Steven Howard (3)
    Dave and the crew really show promise with this intro into the music industry as the Foo F...

  • (4)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
FenderUsa
June 3rd 2008



582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best Foo Fighters album by far

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 3rd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Can't say I agree with you FENDERUSA, but I must admit that you are nowhere near alone in your thoughts. This album is definitely different to all those that followed by the band.

SHOOTME
June 3rd 2008



2393 Comments


nice review.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I remember SHOOTME. He was such a Bastard!

KILL3
November 30th 2010



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed fenderusa

BigHans
November 30th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good Grief rules bigtimehard

KILL3
November 30th 2010



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

every song is so good dave rules

porch
November 30th 2010



8453 Comments


great album

KILL3
November 30th 2010



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its so raw man I WANA SWIN IN THE WATERSHED

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Why do so many people have this love affair with raw, inconsistent debuts. It's like a "coolness' thing yeah.

kangaroopoo
December 18th 2010



3175 Comments


yeah...I'm rarely big on raw

SamuelJKrieg
December 18th 2010



87 Comments


Why do so many people have this love affair with raw, inconsistent debuts. It's like a "coolness' thing yeah


why do you have this love affair with bad music

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey, I like this album. It's not their (ie: he's) best though.

Megadeth
January 7th 2011



935 Comments


this album rocks so hard dave listens to billy talent so i understand

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dave Grohl or Dave DeSylvia?

random
February 14th 2011



2261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't owe you anything!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2011



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well that was random.

KILL
April 22nd 2011



71566 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

exhausted is such a great song

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 26th 2011



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like it too, but it was missing something I reckon. Just something that made it a little more memorable & demanded you to listen to it again. Difficult to put my finger on it. I love its moodiness though.

KILL
April 26th 2011



71566 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its the best song ever to me

the chorus rocks harder than anything ever



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