Foo Fighters

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Foo Fighters Greatest hits CD

This was one of those ‘oh how kind’ moments over Christmas. A remarkable piece of initiative and insight producing a present that surprises and stuns in equal measure. I’ve got nothing personal against Grohl and the lads around him; it’s just so decidedly average and bland. Ask around what everyone’s favourite ‘rock’ band is and many will say the Foo Fighters by default. Perhaps they are more of a music video band, on heavy MTV rotation with a taste for unusual and distinctive videos. This is a good ploy nowadays and goes down well with the ITunes/IPhone and MTV crowd, who seem more likely to rave about the video than the song itself. Somehow that’s missing the point in my book.

I can remember when the Foo’s first appeared in the blaze of glory after the destruction of Nirvana. I did actually buy their debut single on coloured 7” vinyl just to see how Grohl’s promotion to the front turned out and whether it was disastrous. The single was a catchy little tune that was soon forgotten and failed to really be memorable in any sense. Since then I’ve stumbled across their progress by accident or chance, as their PR promo machine is highly effective and those videos (as I’ve already said) dig into your consciousness. A couple of years ago they headlined T-in-The-Park, which is just up the road from here. The whole set was live on the BBC, so with little else to do that Saturday night I sat back and watched the vacuum unfold.

The thing that struck me most (and again with some Wembley set on the TV) is for all their energy, angst and proclamations just how mundane the live experience actually is. I appreciate television is not the best medium for this, but with a live stream you can sometimes feel a touch of connection. There was none. I’ve seen bands that have more enthusiasm, energy and passion than the Foo’s in one song. It all seems like window dressing with these guys and their rock star status. However unlike the Kings of Leon the Foo’s to their credit have never claimed to be anything else or try to play on their roots. At least they haven’t launched a clothing range yet, or undergone a slick makeover session. I’ll leave the Leon boys for another time as that’s a subject in itself.

As I sit hear listening to the CD without live footage or music videos I can understand their attraction now. This is the acceptable sound of ‘rock’ music today; slick production; loud guitars; catchy chorus and gruff singing. You do have to fight the urge not to be sucked in and this is difficult, as the classic era of U2 shows. There are certain tunes that do get under the skin, such as ‘Everlong’ which I do prefer to the over the top passionless nature of ‘All My Life’.

Arguably I should trust my PC software on the Foo’s Greatest Hits. When transferring over the CD to my Sony Walkman phone for some unknown reason the image tagged with the tracks is Guns N Roses Greatest Hits. That says it all really. Select All. Delete.

Where is the Road?

I’m still disappointed The Road has still failed to appear at our local Odeon. Realistically now all I can hope for is a single showing probably under the ‘Directors Chair’ that normally materialises on a Wednesday. If it performs well at the Oscars and BAFTA’s then maybe it’ll have a relaunch. The only issue I have going on a Wednesday is that the cinema is jammed packed with the Orange crowd and their friends. The problem I’ve often noticed is that if they cannot get into the film they really want to see, then they’ll just pick something else and quite often not enjoy it; making a lot of crunching etc in the process. God forbid someone else in the hall actually wants to enjoy the film!

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