Friday, December 1, 2023
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Foo Fighters – Rescued Review

Bright lights and white imagery do much to express the clean slate Foo Fighters now feel they have in their sudden and forced move to another iteration of their sound. It comes amid tragedy. Taylor Hawkins, the long-serving drummer of Foo Fighters, passed before any of these tracks were recorded and produced. Inevitably reflective this period would be for Dave Grohl and company, Rescued is surprising in its strength and how it flies against the expected musical curve Foo Fighters often present. Rescued is earnest, it immediately dives into the deep end of those emotionally stretched musicians at a time when most would shy away to be with their thoughts privately. Foo Fighters find themselves openly in grief, and that sudden adaptation sees the band move their sound on. 

Suddenness breaks through those opening bars and lyrics from Grohl. His disbelief at the happening, the move toward a sound that benefits listener and band. Although tragedy lines the reason for that push, it is a necessary change of pace. Artistic units need moving and shaking at times, and sometimes brute force or shock treatment is the way through that. Make peace as Foo Fighters have done. This has happened, this is happening, and that is where the band find themselves. Although the emotional turmoil at the start ebbs away after those first four lines, Grohl manages to keep the ship steady with his desire for rescue, from what is pretty evident for those following the grief spectacle to its bitterly tragic end. 

Grohl and company must walk the fine line of that emotional outpouring though. Rescued strikes through with those broad and empty notions of tearing down the kings and queens, of giving everyone that equal shot. Toothless and long-winded political smatterings that do little to either effectively hold Rescued to a worthy cause or understand it more than a simple rock song would. Foo Fighters still hit a new high, although their bar is significantly lower considering the insincere brevity of their earlier works. Greg Kurstin does his best to sabotage the track with some horribly heavy production. Foo Fighters find themselves with a track that highlights the drum work, their first track since their drummer died. For passive fans of the Foo, this will change very little. For those dedicated to the band of alternative rockers, it probably makes little sonic difference.  

Tragedy has pushed through a change in pace and dynamic for Foo Fighters to work with. It is the major change they needed and it comes under wretched circumstances. Grohl is still on the nose and as Rescued peters out, it is very much the listener that needs rescuing. But cling to those opening bars, the sincerest work the band have put out in some time. This may convince some that Grohl is of interest, a footnote of rock history rather than the miracle man that single-handedly saved a dying, or at the very least, comatose genre. Either way, Rescued is out there, now, in the wild. Whether it latches onto the brain for long is yet to be seen, although it does have that optimism in the face of disaster, the defiance provides a necessary shake-up to a grieving group.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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