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Foo Fighters – Curiously Unloved

Howlin’ Whippet looks at Dave Grohl and co and wonders – can anyone ever really escape a shadow THAT big?

I’ve never given much thought to the Foo Fighters, but in one of those odd moments of synchronicity that one gets, I found myself surrounded by the hairy-beardy ones several times in the last week. Odd, as it’s the 20th anniversary of Nevermind this month too. Mysterious ways and all that.

A mate who works half the year overseas gave me a load of CDs that he had doublers of. Apparently it’s cheaper to buy them twice than cart them about with you. Lateral thinking at its finest. Amongst them were a few of the Foo Fighters’ earlier albums. Couple this with them appearing on TV seemingly  time I watched it and bask in the notion of the above mentioned synchronicity. Co-inkydink ahoy!

It’s not even debatable that Nirvana were THE seminal guitar band of the last 20 years. Their punk perspective and pop smarts made them peerless. Now Dave Grohl is by all accounts, a very nice bloke. He’s some drummer, too. And the Foo Fighters have the requisite rock credentials. Big choruses, riff-ola-a-go-go, loud guitars and that really annoying surfer duuuuude on drums who has all the ‘Animal out of The Muppets’ moves.

But listening to the albums and watching them festival-ing on TV I was struck by how dull they are as a band.

Grohl’s “I’m really constipated” face when he does those shriekey bits in the songs has always made me grin, but there’s a naff kind of fakeness about his delivery. You never really believe him, do you? The songs are just kinda…all right.

No one ever raves about them, they’re just always there. Festivals in the UK seem to be locked into a bi-annual agreement that they will be the headliners. They seem to own MTV2. But still.

It’s maybe the “second band” syndrome, maybe the lack of punk rock authenticity. The ill-advised guest spots by Grohl are teeth-grittingly irritating too. New band? Getting the hip tips? Yeah,no probs, Grohl will play on a song for ya. Old legends? Hold me back!

I’m sure that the multi-million selling, world-tour record grossing Grohl wont be sitting poolside at his Hollywood mansion, puffing a cigar and drinking champers while getting worried about my opinion. Their legions of fans worldwide will still buy the tickets and albums.

But, y’know,I don’t see that Foo Fighters will ever be a legendary band. Although, I guess membership of Nirvana would probably do most musicians just fine. Grohl’s probably one of them. What’s he gonna do? Retire quietly? I doubt it.

I’d never wish Cobain’s pathetic end on anyone, but I somehow doubt you’ll be seeing many Foo Fighters T-shirts doing the rounds in 20 years time. Like the poor, death and Emmerdale, they are just sort of there. Best of luck to them, but sometimes it seems like a big bowl of nothing much.


One Response

  1. “that really annoying surfer duuuuude on drums who has all the Animal out of The Muppets moves.”

    Brilliant 🙂

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