Foo Fighters Return With “Concrete and Gold”

Foo Fighters Expands Its Horizons and Experiments New Sounds


Justin Angellar

When most people think of alternative rock, the Foo Fighters are one the first bands that come to mind. Dave Grohl helped change the musical landscape forever by drumming for Nirvana, the band which essentially gave alternative and indie rock a seat at the mainstream table. After the band dissolved, Grohl further cemented how alternative would sound in the future with the Foo Fighters.

During the creation of their first project since 2014, Grohl said the band wanted to make “Motorheads version of Sgt. Pepper,” which, is both a bold claim to make and a tough thing to do. To accomplish this, the band partnered up with Mark Ronson, a famed pop producer who generally makes extremely glossy and glitter coated mainstream pop. The merriment of these two styles comes across in an unorthodox but ultimately very successful way.

Acoustic ballads like “Happy Ever After” stand alongside heavy and raw tracks like “Run.” These styles slightly clash but ultimately the contrast between them helps the overall listening experience more than it hurts it. Some of the best moments on the album is the comedown after a highly energetic moment to a relaxed ballad, or some driving drums and excitement after a period of softness. When the transition between songs on an album is a notable positive, that is always a good sign for its’ production

Where the album shines most may be in its combination of pop and heavy instrumentation. This may be best represented in “Sunday Rain,” a combination of a raw lead guitar with some Prince-esque synthesizers and funk influence. The whole sound is very successful, despite how far-reaching the instrumentation is. You wouldn’t expect speaker-blowing guitar to work with funk synthesizers and Grohl’s massive vocal delivery, but it just does.

Is “Concrete and Gold,” the Foo FIghters heavy and blaring Sgt. Peppers? Not quite. That might be an impossible task.  But when it gets close, it shines in a particular way no other band could accomplish.