What a surprise this is for me. I've never been a fan of Mr. Nirvana drummer's alternative rock but this album is rather good. It's not magnificent but it's very melodic which suits me down to the ground. I also love the clean sound on the guitars and the standard of riffing is way up there with grooves and melodies everywhere you look. His vocals have improved a lot as well in my opinion with a more melodic and less angsty tone which suits me better. This album sounds quite close to Stone Sour's Audio Secrecy from last year but a little less heavy and more melodic even.
The first two tracks rock your socks off with cool heavy riffs and vocal melodies, especially opener Burning Bridge which is just an awesome way to start and hooked me right in to wanting to hear the rest of the album. I love the 3rd track Dear Rosemary with it's massive melodic hook which is possibly my fave track off the album. The following track White Limo has heavy metal influences with it's distorted vocals but very cool riffs though it does sound odd compared to the more melodic songs all round it. Arlandria has quiet verses before a melodic upbeat chorus comes into view. Not a brilliant song but catchy enough almost too sugary in fact and it reminds me of Weezer somehow.
These Days has quiet verses again before the chorus springs into life with heavy riffs and Mr. Grohl doing his more angsty vocals but still keeping the melody intact. This is in fact a great melodic song. Sounds like a softer Alter Bridge. Back & Forth is a midpaced rocking song with rocking riffs and a cool chorus. Perhaps one of the weaker tracks though it has a Nirvanaish feel to it especially the vocals. By the way Nevermind fans should really like this album, it's choc full of the same hooks and the guitar sound is very similar too. A Matter of Time uses the quiet verse/louder chorus formula. This one doesn't do a lot for me but it's still quite listenable. This one reminds me of Queens of the stone age being more melodic.
Miss The Misery is a slow stomping heavy song with a thundering riff. I get an Alice in Chains vibe from this one. The verses are once again sung quietky with minimal musical backing before the chorus is backed with heavy beats and the main heavy AIC sounding riff. This one is a little less melodic though features Grohl doing wooahh aaaahhhhs to the melody which usually makes it catchy but it doesn't seem to fit on this song IMO. The songs end on a heavy note with dirty solos and crunching riffage. An angsty tune as the title would suggest. Maybe needs more plays to grow.
I should Have Known is a ballad of sorts. This one reminds me of Oasis for some reason. No Dave doesn't sound like Liam but the vibe is Oasisy cause it's not heavy although the song soon builds to a heavier crescendo with a more aggressive end with very passionate vocals. To be honest this is not the kind of song I'm into. Too much passion and grit in the delivery. Oh and this song features a very prominent and loud bass line. Maybe my least fave song.
Finally Walk is back to what made me give this album the time of day. the vocals are very melodic with a quiet undistorted guitar playing a simple melody before the distorted riffing kicks into mid tempo in typical FF fashion. I like the double time drumming in this on the end of some lines. the song builds in intensity with Grohl cutting loose vocally and going shouty. This song will be a big hot for them no doubt though I don't really love it bit it's enjoyable.
Overall I would rate the album at 7.5/10 which for me is a very high rating speaking as a non fan bar the odd song. Mr. Grohl and his cohorts have come up with a cool set of melodic alternative rock tunes this time and if you're an existing fan, you're sure to be very happy and even if you're not, you may still find a few tunes to like here if you enjoy melodic rock music in general. If you've hated the Foos since the beginning then there's not a lot here for you, move along!
Listen to the whole album below if you are curious.