Nate Mendel

B-Sides: Foo Fighters

 

foo-fighters-logoOver the course of the Foo Fighters career and nine albums, they have accumulated quite a few B-sides. Some of these songs are quite awesome and others you can hear why they were left off the records. None the less, you should check out these tracks. You might find some that you really dig.

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Album Review: Foo Fighters- Concrete and Gold

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Redemption is the first word that comes to mind when talking about the new Foo Fighters album Concrete and Gold. The follow up to the highly disappointing Sonic Highways is everything you’d want in a Foo Fighters album. It has the rock, the great mid tempo songs, and the delicate melodies that we’ve all grown to love and enjoy in a Foo’s album. Concrete and Gold is also seething in inspiration from 70’s rock bands and their albums from that era. Dave Grohl and company deliver the goods and then some. From the riffs, melodies, and all around vibe this album emits, you are in for quite a treat.

As “T-Shirt” begins the album in a way that is reminiscent of “Doll” from The Colour and The Shape, the way the song flows perfectly into the high energy “Run” is undeniable. Not to mention that “Run” is the classic Foo’s song that was very much needed. Plus the video is hilarious. “Make It Right” is a solid mid tempo song that fits in the sequence of the album and also features guest vocals from Justin Timberlake. “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” will be a classic for the band, no doubt about it. Everything about this song is great. “La Dee Da” is one of my favorite songs on the album. The fuzzy bass line (courtesy of the underrated Nate Mendel) that starts the song immediately grabs your attention and the rest of the song rocks your socks off. Allison Mosshart from The Kills guests on this song as well as “The Sky Is A Neighborhood.” Saxophone player Dave Koz lends his sax talents to the song as well. “Dirty Water” is one of those Foo’s songs with delicate melodies and a softer vibe. It’s another one of those songs that in the context of the album it really fits but as a stand alone song, not so much. “Arrows” is one of those songs that really emits the 70’s sound. The guitar work on this song from Chris Shiflett is stellar. The entire band sounds amazing on this song. “Happily Ever After (Zero Hour) seems a little out of place at first listen but, as you keep listening to the album, this song really grows on you especially because of the lyrics. “Sunday Rain” is another of my favorite songs on the record. This song features drummer Taylor Hawkins on lead vocals and he sounds absolutely great. It’s a great change of pace for the band plus this song just rocks. Paul McCartney plays drums on this song too. There is a cool funk vibe on this song that plays into my thought’s of the 70’s influence but, there is also a kind of George Harrison element to it as well from his All Things Must Pass solo album (an album that is truly a masterpiece… George was the most talented Beatle… I dare you to challenge me on that!). Keyboardist Rami Jaffee really shines on this song as well. His contributions to the song really bring out the “vibe.” “The Line” is a classic Foo’s rock song but with a more melodic twist. Having three guitarists in the band really shows on this song. You can really hear each of Dave’s, Chris’s and Pat’s style and tone on this song. Closing out the album is the title track “Concrete and Gold.” This song oozes Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath.  Not only is this song a great closer but, it’s also epic in the way it plays out and makes you feel. Surprisingly the “choir like” vocals are provided by Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman, and it fits perfectly.

Concrete and Gold is the album the Foo Fighters not only needed to make but also an album the rock world needs. Dave Grohl proves that he is one of this generations best songwriters and the entire band, Taylor, Chris, Nate, Pat and Rami play their asses off on the record. Besides One By One and Wasting Light, I’d dare say this is the most complete Foo Fighters record they have ever released. Thank you Foo Fighters for this album and redeeming yourselves and then some. I can’t wait to hear these songs live. Rock isn’t dead. In fact it’s beyond alive and well!

Overall Rating: A

 

Foo Fighters- Concrete and Gold:

 

 

New Release: Foo Fighters- Run

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It’s been a few years since we last heard new music from the Foo Fighters. Their failed experiment, Sonic Highways, was pretty bad. The Saint Cecilia EP they put out not long after Sonic Highways, was a step back in the right direction. Today, Dave Grohl and company released “Run,” a very awesome new track that rocks on all levels. The video is fantastic and hilarious as well as directed by Dave. If this is the direction the Foos are going on their new album, then we have something to really look forward to.

Check out “Run!”

 

 

Album Rank: Foo Fighters

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Since the Foos recently released their 8th album, why not give their albums a ranking. Here’s the order from not their best to the best.

 

Sonic Highways:

 

Echoes Silence Patience and Grace:

 

In Your Honor:


Saint Cecilia:

 

There’s Nothing Left To Lose:

5]

 

Foo Fighters:

 

The Color And The Shape:

 

Wasting Light:

 

One By One:

Album Review: Foo Fighters- Sonic Highways

 

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When a band reaches a certain point in their career it’s hard to keep things fresh and inspired. For the bands eighth album the gents in the Foo Fighters tried something different. While the idea is a great one, the final product falls a bit flat. The idea of recording a song in a different city is a great idea. Lyrically it just falls flat. The songs feel rushed and incomplete. It’s as though the thoughts were unfinished. The show on HBO is quite interesting and full of a rich musical history. In my opinion the show is way better than the album. The albums eight songs are very hit and miss. The best song I heard on the album is a song called “Outside” which features the great Joe Walsh. This is the best song on the album hands down. This album is very disjointed and not an “album.”  It’s a collection of single songs, that have no cohesiveness. Also the use of Butch Vig as a producer I think was the wrong choice. His input and methods just don’t work for what the band was trying to do, Nick Raskulinecz would have been the perfect choice. The first song “Something From Nothing” is a good track but nothing special. The whole record is nothing special. In fact I’d probably put this album towards the bottom of the list of ranking their albums. I truly thought that after how good Wasting Light was they would continue on a path similar to how that album turned out. Nice try on this one Foos.

On the scale of 1-10: I give this a 4

By: Brian Lacy

You Might Have Missed: The Fire Theft

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Born from the ashes of what was Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft was a band comprised of Nate Mendel, William Goldsmith and Jeremy Egnik. This band was formed in 2001 and released one album in 2003. This was originally a side project for Sunny Day. Musically the band is similar to Sunny Day Real Estate, but there was something else that came with this band. There seemed to be a lot of passion and personality put into these songs. I’ve been a Sunny Day fan for many years, and this album to me is a fitting part of their catalog, even if it is under a different name.

The Fire Theft: Live

Unsung Masterpieces: Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary

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Music will always stand the test of time. Certain albums will forever be revered as timeless. Some albums though don’t get the recognition they deserve. Which brings me to Sunny Day Real Estate’s debut album Diary. The album is considered by many to be a defining emo album. It has also been called the bridge between post hardcore and the emo genre. Listening to this album you can tell where Brand New gets a lot of their influence from. Lyrically there is a sense of realism throughout the album. Jeremy Enigk has a real knack for creating vocal melodies that compliments his softer voice and the words. Dan Hoerner’s guitar tone is heavy yet crisp and bright, which accents the soft vocals and the delicate nature in which Jeremy plays. Nate Mendel’s bass has a nice dirty tinge to it, adding just the right amount of distortion to balance with William Goldsmith’s heavy hitting drums. Songs like “Seven,” “In Circles,” “47,” “Grendel,” and “48” are all stand out tracks. Diary was different from those released by all the other Seattle bands at the time. It’s melodic but has a slightly heavy sound that has had a clear impact on future emo groups. It is the seventh best selling album released on Sub Pop Records, having sold more than 231,000 copies. In 2013, Diary took the first place in LA Weekly’s  list of the “Top 20 Emo Albums in History”

 

 

By: Brian Lacy