The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

CD Reviews

Wasting Light Foo Fighters

By Frankie farrar-helm/entertainment editor

Possibly the finest rock album of the year, Wasting Light is the best Foo Fighters album in quite some time.

Partly, this is because the album has more modest intentions than some of the band’s previous work.

After proving from past records that they’re more than just a rock band — releasing mature acoustic and piano-flourished backgrounds — Foo Fighters seem to have revived the joys of being, at heart, a good old-fashioned garage rock ‘n’ roll band. Hence, Wasting Light was recorded in former Nirvana drummer and current Foo lead singer Dave Grohl’s garage with Nate Mendel on bass, Taylor Hawkins on drums and back vocals and Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear on guitar and back vocals.

At first listen, the music seems to be neverending. Here, the only stationary moments are moderately paced verses before the chorus comes around at full volume building a ferocious climax.

However, given more attention, Wasting Light reveals a surprising amount of variety, maintaining dynamic levels and tempos throughout.

The opening track, “Burning Bridges,” benefits from a drum-heavy arrangement, which starts with a steady riff, then adds perpetual beat changes and some unexpected twists as Grohl shouts, “These are my famous last words! My number’s up, bridges all burned.”

“Rope,” the second track on the album, features explosive drumming and superb guitar harmonies with short-lived pauses to build suspense — not to mention the influential, crowd-pleasing rocker “yeows” by Grohl.

“White Limo” is an aggressive distortion of guitars, screams and howls. Grohl screams, “Go … go, you’re never having to waste your lung. Go … go, and the ride was shared. Go Limo!”

Soaked in strings and tender vocals, “I should have known” is undoubtedly heartfelt and direct — an elegy for Grohl’s childhood friend Jimmy Swanson, who died of an overdose in 2008. Grohl beats himself up as he howls, “I should have known I was inside of you … I should have known there was that side of you, came without a warning, caught me on a web.”

Overall, Wasting Light, the band’s seventh album in 17 years, is bristling with thick hooks, thicker guitars and an aesthetic rooted in Nirvana-punk.

Through it all, the Foo Fighters just keep making rock ‘n’ roll albums, beautifully realistic in nature and appealing to wide audiences.

It’s no secret the Foos can rock. Wasting Light is one of the best examples yet.

Union Black Skindred

By Frankie Farrar-Helm/entertainment editor

Union Black is one hell of an album.

The highly anticipated fourth studio album released April 25 from Welsh “ragga” metal band Skindred was definitely worth the wait, revealing its darkest, heaviest material yet.

Lead singer Benji Webbe describes the album as “a celebration of the diversity of Britain.” Everyone is from different backgrounds, different spirits. And when all the colors are mixed together, it creates black, he said.

Skindred’s music is unlike anything heard before. Union Black is an addictive concoction of punk metal, dub step, hip-hop and reggae, much like its predecessors — but stronger.

After Webbe’s punk rock band Dub War disbanded in 1998, he met bassist Daniel Pugsley, guitarist Mikey Demus and drummer Arya Goggin, and Skindred was born. Its debut album Babylon was released in 2002, and a new genre of rock emerged.

Union Black is the group’s best work so far.

The infectious track “Warning,” featuring lead singer Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach, instantly consumes the listener in head bangs and fist pumps. A monster of a song, aggressive and explosive, it successfully fuses together a variety of sounds. Along with Webbe’s hard, catchy voice, Shaddix screams, “You better tread lightly, you better back down … I feel it igniting, I’m losing it now!”

The third track, “Cut Dem,” is a choppy, drum-heavy reggae beat — true Skindred style — with a taste of dub step. It begins with the sway of Webbe’s rhythmic British accent then quickly flourishes into complex drum arrangements, angry shouts and computer-generated vocals. “You’ll feel it sharper than a razor’s edge … Life stolen then you’re just left for dead … Watch them all fall down, man like a domino … The road to destruction is well wide you know,” Webbe yells.

In “Living a Lie,” listeners get a taste of rebellion and anarchy with Webbe’s foul-mouthed vocabulary and not-so-nice verses. A punch to the face, the track is a beat down of drums and guitars that continue into techno-sounding bridges and refrains, leaving emotions all over the place.

Overall, the band has done it again. It has succeeded in bringing rockers a revolutionary style of music that will forever change the face of rock.

In an era of fakes and mainstream-rock wannabes, Skindred delivers.

Union Black is an explosion of creativity and sound, an intense musical experience unlike any other.

It’s a work of genius.

 

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