This is the bands sixth full length album, so by now they should need no introduction. Since the first self titled album release back in 1995, Foo Fighters have gone from strength to strength, releasing album after album of hook laden and catchy rock tunes, so much so that they are now able to play to crowds as big as 85,000 strong. This new album is the first since "The Colour And The Shape" (most often named as the bands best album by fans) to be produced by Gil Norton and it contains their winning formula in abundance: tightly written rock songs with a pop sensibility full of catchy, anthemic choruses with a very strong emotional core running throughout.
The band's continued and ever growing popularity comes mainly from the fact that Dave Grohl is such a talented song writer. OK, so this may not be as classic an album as "The Colour and the Shape", however, it does have its fair share of more than decent tunes. Melodically this is a strong record with plenty of single worthy tracks mixed up with slower more gentle almost ballads, it begins with a couple of cracking tracks: current single 'The Pretender' with it's fantastic bass-line is followed by 'Let It Die' a track that starts off slow and minimal before building to a big emotional climax of heavy guitars, drums and screams. 'Long Road to Ruin' is Foo Fighters by numbers, but it's so bouncy and catchy that you can't hold it against them for a second. The quiet and moody 'Stranger Things Have Happened' is a lovely gentle moment relying on Grohl's distinctive vocals and a memorable acoustic riff to carry you away and the instrumental 'Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners' is a brilliant little interlude of complex guitar work.
There are a few lulls in the pace of the record; 'Erase/Replace', 'Come Alive' and 'Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)' aren't particularly memorable even after a couple of listens and tend to wash over you without making a huge impact. Occasionally on "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace" it feels as though the Foos are on autopilot and you might wonder how long they can go on without evolving, but to be honest it's a fleeting thought because there are enough good moments to keep you interested and as usual they manage to deliver an entertaining album of bouncy, catchy tunes.