Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor | Photographer
Having formed in 1994, Foo Fighters have undoubtedly become one of the most iconic and biggest names in the music industry, and rightfully so. Set to release their 11th studio album “But Here We Are” on Friday June 2nd via Roswell/RCA, Foo Fighters have amassed countless platinum certifications, 15 Grammy awards, and have sold more than 32 million albums world wide.
With the shocking and heartbreaking news of long time Drummer Taylor Hawkins’ passing last March, as well as seemingly about the passing of frontman Dave Grohl’s Mom in August of 2022, this album was already poised to be an emotionally charged response to everything the band had faced in recent times, as well as a picture of grief and healing. The band’s press release states “…a brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything Foo Fighters have endured recently, But Here We Are is a testament to the healing powers of music, friendship and family.”
While I was prepared for a moving, yet emotionally heavy album, I wasn’t ready for the depth at which the band dug themselves down to. A wide spectrum of emotions sweep over you from the beginning of the album all the way through the end, including heartbreak, hope, love and nostalgia. “But Here We Are” successfully sees the band back in their roots, together in a way that is reminiscent of why they got together in the first place 29 years ago.
Opening their latest effort is a track fans are already familiar with, since it was released as the lead single back on April 19th. “Rescued”, a track that has got some of the same massive hooks, big sounds, soaring vocals and great energy that the band is known for, relentlessly beckons you. You can hear the pain in words like “Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Is this happening now? Are you feeling what I’m feeling? This is happening now.”, yet the band sounds even more unified than they have before. Similarly, the second single released just last week on May 17th, “Under You” for me is musically reminiscent of cuts like “This Is A Call”, while seemingly a song dialing in on the struggles of the pain and grief the band faced with the passing of Hawkins as well as the loss of Grohl’s Mom. The grief can be painstakingly felt in passages like “All this time it still feels just like yesterday that I walked a million miles with you. Over it. Think I’m getting over it, but there’s no getting over it.”
The more UK pop-driven, yet with a more dark and ethereal edge “Hear Voices” hears Grohl lamenting “Every night I tell myself nothing like you could last forever.” and “I’ve been hearing voices, but none of them are you.”, ending with a sound fade into an acoustic outro which has a really nice touch.
Tracks like the title track “But Here We Are” and “Nothing At All” lean more into the quintessential Foo Fighters sound that boasts massive hooks, incredible melodies and the louder moments the band is capable of, all of which easily lends themselves to sold out stadiums, while more acoustic driven cuts like “The Glass” show a more vulnerable side to the band.
Stand out tracks such as the more dream-pop/shoegaze cut “Show Me How” features the warm vocals of Violet Grohl – an actually quite beautiful and serene track that shows a poignant reflection on better times, which kind of reflects on why the band got together in the first place. “Beyond Me” boasts incredible melodies while inspiring a more tender and soft side, with an amazingly placed guitar solo effortlessly blending into the outro.
Starting out more ethereal than anything else is probably one of the band’s most ambitious tracks to date. “The Teacher” starts with Grohl subtly singing in a whisper “Who’s at the door now? Who’s at the door now?”, eventually leading into a catchy melody with Grohl singing “Hey kid, what’s the plan for tomorrow? Where will I wake up? Where will I wake up?” As the track continues to build, a massive wall of sound with monstrous instrumentals take the forefront, before coming back into a more soft and gentle atmosphere. You can feel the weight of sorrow in the pulled back vocals with lines like “You showed me how to breathe, but never showed me how to say goodbye.” Don’t want to end this wave of feelings on a subtle note? You won’t have to – an all out distorted clash abruptly ends the track. If you’re looking for a track that has a generic order to it, this is the wrong one for you. This track ebbs and flows between a more introspective and pensive dialogue, to an all out conversation with those who have been lost, all the while taking you on a sonic adventure between subtle and an all out noise-fest.
Closing out this latest effort is “Rest”, an apt closure if ever there was one. As a I write this, I still have a massive lump in my throat after listening to this track. If you don’t, maybe we didn’t hear the same song? Starting with just an acoustic and Grohl’s soft and restrained vocals, the band abruptly comes in with a massively distorted guitar and cymbal crash and Grohl can be heard achingly crying out “Rest! You can rest now. Rest! You will be safe now!”. Just as abruptly as the band builds, the band drops out and Grohl can be heard with just a lightly distorted strum “Waking up, I had another dream of us. In the warm Virginia sun, there I will meet you.”
“But Here We Are” isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you later. While grief, loss and heartache play a massive roll on this record, it also leaves you with a stirring hope that you won’t soon be able to shed. The memories of those lost will never be forgotten, and will be carried with the band for the remainder of their time here on earth. “But Here We Are” has been birthed of and is a stark reminder that there is something bigger than ourselves. May Virginia Grohl and Taylor Hawkins always be remembered and always celebrated.
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