Foo Fighters by Foo Fighters

The tale of so many other top-shelf bands, Foo Fighters was once the domain of a young man regrouping from loss and producing music with an edge, a hook, and a sense of humor. Later on, it became the vaguely acceptable snack food rock that we think of when we think of the Foos, but when it came to their debut, Dave Grohl was just out to have a good time. Too often does 1995's Foo Fighters get framed in terms of Kurt Cobain's death, but that really ignores this record's defining traits: Dave's ability to write a hook fit for a beluga, and his sense of experimentation. And boy, are both are on display here!

Focusing on the former point, the first half of the record stands tall for essentially being a musical gumball machine. Through the violated stomp of "I'll Stick Around", the rejected Nirvana cut "Alone + Easy Target", or, fuck, even the Mentos rock of "Big Me", it stands to reason that, if Dave wasn't a songwriting heavyweight from the start, he certainly knew how to fake it. It's somewhere after "Floaty" that the record will start to lose people, as Dave experiments more with shoegaze and hardcore punk while never losing that poppy edge. Take note of closer "Exhausted", which sounds exactly like its name: a plaintive plea for rest amid a wall of noise the Foos would never revisit. Foo Fighters goes down easy and sticks with you for a long time.

Foo Fighters

Essential: "I'll Stick Around", "X-Static", "Exhausted"
Quintessential: "Good Grief"
Non-essential: Can't pick one (but maybe "Oh George")

Rating: Classic
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