Elephants line the room where But Here We Are was made. A lot to talk around, but not about. Foo Fighters consider a loss and create alternative rock from the gaping hole left and it is hard to find much else in the meaning. That is not to say Foo Fighters do not offer up an emotionally stringent album, their best in years, but it is bold to see them wear their heart on their sleeve throughout. But Here We Are is an acceptance. There they are, quite literally, still toiling away as best they can. It is hard not to siphon off some of the heartbreak and offer it up to weaker spots on But Here We Are, which, to its credit, is one of the most consistent records the band has put out.
Whether this consistency comes from grief or from being moved into writing solid riffs and battling back emotionally wrought topics is neither here nor there for Dave Grohl and company. Defined by a singular as Rebecca Black was on Let Her Burn, the statement included on each record is important and wild enough to warrant sole focus. Foo Fighters still maintain course and bring about some intense moments beyond their grief-stricken Under You and Show Me How. Third track Hearing Voices maintains some grand and well-focused rock riffs. “Nothing like you could last forever,” is given a leg up into grieving processes rather than the elusive romance which could come before Hawkins’ passing. Title track But Here We Are seems to be carrying this momentum forward, but becomes a little broad and empty when lyrical meaning is needed.
Illusions and hopes of reality stepping in to take them away from somewhere they feel sincerely uncomfortable, Foo Fighters are left reeling once more. But Here We Are as a concept and album are strong through the honesty and openness of their sorrow. Grohl sounds nothing short of fantastic on these tracks, and the real consistency found throughout is his voice and the power of it. He takes dual duties and drums away too, the only real replacement they could have for the studio recordings. Often it takes deep trauma or a bruising experience to move an artist or group into making something beyond what is expected, and this is the case for But Here We Are. Always heading back to the misery and mourning, The Glass does well to provide the intimacies and brotherly connection of Grohl, Hawkins and the band. It is hard to mount much other reason to these tracks, but they sound strong and informed.
Left to live without him, Foo Fighters demonstrate their emotional core, polishing off where they should have been drawing from for so many years before it. Structural change brings out the best, or, in the case of Foo Fighters, the authentic form. Plain white album covers, the dashing of slight light a rebirth for a band who it could be argued were heading through the motions over their last few releases. Nothing At All hears the band reconnect with their bitterness and the harshness they once had in their youth. Grohl has kept it under wraps for so long But Here We Are begins to shock and surprise around every corner. From classy ten-minute beast The Teacher to an acceptable end on Rest, Foo Fighters now has something to fight for after a decade in the wilderness.