Review Summary: Nirvana in a candy shop.
I want the Foo Fighters to break up. For two reasons - one admitadely pessemistic, and one selfish but certainly elss offensive. The first reason si that i hate seeing videos for songs like "The Long Road To Ruin" when I turn on MTV2 - it's not that funny and the song's not that good to be honest. The other reason is that, to be honest, forcing patients to listen to a whole Foo Fighters album would probably be a cheaper alternative for pre-operation anaesthetic - put simply, too much filler tends to crow what I feel are the Foo Fighter's best songs - the singles (blasphemy!). Now, if they broke up, they'd almost certainly release a "Best Of" CD of some sorts, and I wouldn't have to sift throug hthe mediocore stuff to get to the good stuff. Yes, what I'm saying is the Foo Fighters career has really spawned only one decent albums worth of songs - or so I thought, until I decided to check out their 1995 debut, written and performed almost exclusively by Dave Grohl.
In terms of tracks, there's generally a strong showing all round - Foo Fighters have never, ever been a band to "wow" at every turn, but they certainly come closest here. "I'll Stick Around" is the first stand out, with Grohl's cries of "I don't owe you anything" a clear example of his own take on the ever popular 90's angst rock trend. The track "Floaty" has a slightly menacing, "Nirvana in a candy shop" guitar line that sticks in the head, and is the first hint that this album has perhaps inherited the catchy, hook laden legacy of "Nevermind" that was pretty much shunned on Nirvana's final release. "Big Me" exhibits their pop influences to the extreme, the catchy, album highlight having a defintie Weezer/Pixies (think "Here Comes Your Man") vibe that really htis a sugary sweet, playful note, and is instantly likeable. Far be it for Grohl to totally forgo his roots, the track "Weenie Beenie" is a straightforward rocker, enjoyable for nothing else if not the awesome distorted vocals that prevent the song from sliding into the type of mediocrity that would plague the band in the second half of their career. "For All The Cows" is an initially subdued, slightly strange, eccentric turn, that, whilst far from the best song on the album, shows a variety and not to say amanteur but raw element of a "band" (read: man/musician) finally allowed to express his musical ideas on the big stage, before the band really had a definite "sound" and fan base to aim for.
Although the album is by no means perfect (it does tend to peter out towards the end, without ever quite reaching the level of "boring"), it doesn't change the fact that I started with low expectations - perhaps more middle of the road, average, "Dad-rock" in twenty years time material - what you'll find is a solid, enjoyable collection of songs not as far removed from the "Nevermind" forumla than you'd expect - with the increase on the pop factor merely adding to the appeal.