Review: Concrete and Gold – Foo Fighters (2017)

Foo Fighters have always been a scorching singles band still searching the oasis to deliver that truly complete album experience. With Concrete and Gold they move ever so much closer to hitting that mark with an album that feels wholly consistent throughout its 49 minute run time.

There’s no doubt that, over the past 20 years, the most assured arena rock act revolving the globe has been Foo Fighters. Grohl and gang’s ability to churn out hit rock n’ roll track after rock n’ roll track is something to marvel at. When you think of the blistering debut of This Is A Call through tracks like Monkey Wrench, Walking After You, My Hero, Everlong, Better Than You, Learn To Fly, Times Like These, Aurora, Best of You, One By One, Walk, The Pretender, Something From Nothing, and Rope – they’re a hit making machine.

The one thing that’s always kept Foo Fighters at bay is that, despite the plethora of cracking songs, outside of The Colour and the Shape, the band has really struggled to deliver a tonally complete album. Sure, they are all solid outings but they all have the same make up – 3 to 4 killer songs, the same amount of okay ones and a couple of total fillers.

So, as Concrete and Gold started spinning, the fingers were crossed to break through that glass ceiling. It brings great relief to say that, pretty much, the band is near bang on it here. There’s a consistency and maturity to the songwriting here that at once shows the Fooeys have lost none of their fire and are complimenting it with stellar production at the hands of Greg Kurstin (producer of Adele and Sia). There’s a lushness here that makes even the crunchiest of tracks shimmer and the trajectory of loud and quiet works beautifully.

From mini-opener T-Shirt that echoes back to The Colour and the Shape’s opener of Doll, to the blistering funk of Run, the energy and enthusiasm is all well and truly in tact for this sextet. Stand outs include Make It Right, Dirty Water, La Dee Da, Sunday Rain, The Line, and title track Concrete and Gold. Arrows derails the momentum a little and Happily Ever After (Zero Hour) sounds like dull Elliot Smith. They are ok tracks, but lessen the experience.

Concrete and Gold is a solid offering for the Foo Fighters and shows a band maturing with their sound but never losing their edge. The fans will love it and newbies might appreciate the nods to The Beatles and hey day of 70s rock n’ roll in some tracks.