Top critical review
5 of 9 people found this helpful
on 9 August 2007
A lot of reviewers here seem to have come to this first Foo Fighters record quite late on - when there was already an Everlong, a My Hero, a Learn to Fly... well I remember the days when this came out. 1995 it was. Kurt Cobain had not been long gone and Stiltskin were trying to capture the alternate rock crown. All of us that liked Nirvana at the time were well into this. We loved the energy, the shoutyness, the rawness. We didn't think it sounded like Nirvana, and we didn't want it to.
It doesn't really have as many levels as Nirvana's In Utero did, but it does have a little more variety than the two dimensional Nevermind. Anyway, there's no need to compare; they are quite different. This record is more akin to the real underground "grunge" of the late 80s/ early 90s like Mudhoney, than it is to grunge's poster boys.
Before we heard This Is A Call we all knew that Grohl would struggle to shake off Nirvana's overbearing shadow, but somehow he did, and he did it quickly. Unfortunately, as his band got bigger, he seems to have become more and more radio friendly. I respect the Foos, I love Dave Grohl, but I don't want anything to do with anything that came after The Color and the Shape - probably the last great sounding heavy rock record before overproduction took the soul out of the genre. They do a great live show, but their records aren't up to much now.
This first record at least has a uniqueness. Yes, it sounds like demos, the sound is muddy and unpolished - but that's what I like about it. We need records that sound like this, that are unafraid of sounding rough.
As for the songs; highlights for me are This is a Call, Good Grief, and For All the Cows. The others are ok. I think it's more a reflection on my personal taste than on the actual quality of rock. Cos it does rock, and it does so aggressively. The drums in particular, as you would expect from one of the best drummers in rock, are exemplary.
Now I hope this doesn't seem contradictory, having chided some reviewers who have bought this record late. My issue with them is not with how they rate the quality of the album, but rather with the criteria they have judged it by. I defend this record, but I'm still only going to give it 3 stars. I never really listen to it anymore, but this record has a place in my past. There was a time when this was an important record, and it should be respected for that, not dismissed as a footnote in the history of Foo Fighters.