Foo Fighters connect the music cities of America through the Sonic Highways telling their tale of Something from Nothing
#8. That’s been the number for me this year, for every Foo Fighters fan this year actually. 2014 has been the year for Foo Fighters LP #8. Right since the facebook page displayed an image with mix tapes with the sticker LP #8 on it, Foo Fighters fans have stirred in excitement. What’s even better is the band providing us much more than just a new LP. They decided on a 8 part docu-series based on the entire story behind the new EP marking 20 years since the formation of Foo Fighters. The #8 comes up here again with the LP #8 having 8 tracks on it. You know Dave Grohl and you know how important a story is to him, stories make you as much as you make them. That’s Dave’s way to go in music, films everything that he does. This whole collection of the docu-series was titled sonic highways and it’s the story of the band travelling sonic highways between major music cities in the country to retell and incorporate the story of the history of American music in their record.
So, I just saw the first episode of Sonic Highways and it really starts off with Dave Grohl talking about how on the 17th of October 1994, he went into a studio in Chicago and recorded a bunch of songs, just half a year after the death of his close friend Kurt Cobain. These songs were later known as the self titled album, Foo Fighters. After Sound City, many would say that this is just the bands way to promote the album. Yes, it is and there is nothing wrong about promoting your story and the work you do. We may all be hypocrites and talk about how that’s pathetic but everything we do, we want people to see and appreciate what we do. The thing about Foo Fighters is that millions of people around the world want to know everything about the band. Being that level of an open book to fans is exactly what we looks for. Elusivity here, is just not the key. To us, Foo Fighter fans, the band isn’t a celebrity, there are our best friends who we know inside out and can always trust.
Back to Sonic Highways and Foo Fighters. The band released their first single from the album on 16th October called ‘Something from Nothing’. You ask me? It’s a great groovy rock and roll track with a perfect mix of aggression that reminded me of Grohl’s love for Punk Rock. I think everyone connected with the track because it talks about turning into something from absolutely nothing and how it is always going to be a great battle to achieve that. The song was also criticized to sound a lot like ‘Holy Diver’. Well, yes Holy Diver also has a groovy background but when you listen to the two they are pretty different. It’s almost like pointing out to a new band saying ‘Oh my god, you are a copycat, you have a chorus!’. Foo Fighters have managed to do that they do best, perfectly build up the song and the perfect transition between the bridges. For me, the winner on the track has to be Nate’s bass playing with a special feature by punk rock bassist from Cheap Trick Rick Nielson. The song interestingly begins as a very funky track, graduating into a more rock n roll feeling to the aggression in the song changing it to a punk rock-metal-ish track. Shiflett has a done a great job on the guitars too with his graduation from funk guitars to punk within the track. It was no less a blast to hear Dave Grohl sing, but when he turned badass punk screamer, that was just a jaw-dropper.
The track however gave rise to a lot of curiosity, I knew the first song was inspired from Chicago thanks to the promos of the docu-series. But funk and pop rock? That was a strange thing to combine and what did those lyrics mean, everything was crystal clear after I saw the first episode. The show describes the entire Chicago music history from Cheap Trick to Naked Raygun on the punk rock side and Muddy Waters on the blues. Together the two genres let to the sound of the track. Interestingly Grohl took words from what all the people said when he interviewed to create the lyrics that he wrote. Make sure you listen to every word in the one hour show and you will know the song much better than you imagine.
The most applaudable thing about the show is that when they talk about the ‘Chicago Music Scene’ it’s not just the bands, it’s the record studios, the producers, the concert arenas, the record companies, the social conditions that lead to the genres and even the record stores. When Dave Grohl ended the official trailer saying and I quote, “This isn’t the making of our most ambitious records, it’s a love letter to the history of American music”, he wasn’t just saying it for the sake of it.
8eight8 Single Score: 9/10
Show Score: 9.5/10
– Srishti Das