Foo Fighters - in your honor

Dave Grohl’s music life spans the Washington DC Hard Core scene of the nineteen eighties, through grunge, stopping off for cameo appearances in the likes of Tenacious D and Queens of the Stone Age and reaching a point where his band the Foo Fighters are one of the biggest draws on the worlds live circuit. For this reason any new release will be anticipated far and wide and when it was announced that the next chapter was to be a double then the expectation level sawed. What has arrived is a piece of work that reflects the diversity of his previous music and also shows a softer and interestingly varied side to the band.

Tracks at a time.

‘In Your Honor’ is a two CD set that has been created as too separate records, one an acoustic album that incorporates many different styles including jazz and country, as well as the simple one man and a guitar moments. To those who prefer their Foo Fighters nice and loud fear not, as the first half of this double CD sees the band in places as heavy as they’ve ever been, from stadium rock to metal. This is owed a lot to Tailors thorocious drumming, as an aside watch out for his solo work in early 2006. He also has one of his own tracks on here, which by complete contrast has a real country feel to it.

We begin with the title track, which will be an incredible set opener if they choose to use it in the same way as they have for the album. Other highlights include ‘No Way Back’, ‘DOA’ and ‘Resolve’, which are all classic Foo Fighters tracks and all would make excellent single choices. ‘Free Me’ is the heaviest on the album and probably deliberately ‘End Over End’ is the softest, which closes the rock half and leads nicely into part two.

The second half of the record took a mere three weeks to put together with them at one point working at the rate of one track a day. Although most are slow in tempo and very melodic in feel they retain the bands classic sound, which suggests most, would work as heavier songs. Many are new but there’s a handful that were either put on the back burner during the recording of other albums as they simply didn’t fit, or had just been floating around waiting for the right opportunity to have justice done to them. A great example of this is ‘Friend of a Friend’, which is a very Nirvana sounding track as it was written back in 1990 just after Grohl moved to Seattle and was living with Kurt Cobain. It was released in a low-key fashion and never made it past a cheap cassette compilation that was available in his home of Washington DC.

This half of the album features a number of guests, most interesting of which is Nora Jones who provides vocals and piano on ‘Virginia Moon’. On paper this would seem a strange choice but as the track has a real jazz feel to it her input fits perfectly. The Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age swap shop is also utilized on the final track ‘Razor. It was performed by Grohl at a Tsunami benefit show alongside the likes of Beck and Eddie Vedder with the reaction earning it a place on the record, the final recording features Josh Homme as a back up guitarist.

It will be interesting to see what of ‘In Your Honor’ gets used in the live arena and if they keep the two styles separate, my suspicion is that the major festival and arena shows will see them focus on the rock side, with maybe one or two softer ones thrown in, especially if and when any are released as singles. What would be very good to see is a tour, similar to that of the legendary Nirvana Unplugged concert for MTV in 1993, imagine the Foo Fighters at somewhere like the Royal Albert Hall, although much more intimate venues would also suit the quieter side of the band.

Oh and that quote about this album being for Foo’s fans what ‘Physical Graffiti’ is to the Zeppelin disciples, well given that Grohl is one of those himself he should know what that feels like and he may just have hit the nail on the head with this one as ‘In Your Honor’ is pure class.