If you're wondering whether to bother with the new Foo Fighters record, Dave Grohl answers that question in less than 90 seconds.

That's thanks to T-Shirt, a song that kicks off the Foos' ninth album by veering between cruisy Walking After You balladeering and swaggering All My Life stadium rock.

Along the way, the Foos lock into every gear they're currently capable of, from ragged rock pile-ups to bruising breakdowns, yet it still finds time to land a mighty fine chorus after just 40 seconds.

Then, after one minute and 22 seconds, it's all over. You're left with the most succinct Foo Fighters song yet, one that shows just how easily adaptable their stadium rock template has become.


By now, at album no. 9, it feels like the Foos could do this in their sleep.

If you're being particularly unkind, you might claim that's exactly what they did on their last album, Sonic Highways, a record that came with a grand concept but always felt like it was doing 45km/h on the open road.

So, the question remains, if the Foos can cram their entire career into Concrete and Gold's opening song, why should you bother with the rest?

Riffs, mostly. Because the first half of Concrete and Gold contains some gritted-teeth grindfests that showcase glimpses of some mighty mine form.

Try the thrilling chorus of Run, that erupts into a spiralling speed-metal meltdown. Or the fuzzy throb of La Dee Da, which includes deliciously evil Grohl yelps like a tribute to Lemmy.

And you can picture Grohl's evil grin as he kicks off Make it Right with a dose of down-tuned desert-boogie that would make Josh Homme turn a little green.

The second half of the album is a little more indulgent, softer, and not as well executed. Drummer Taylor Hawkins delivers Sunday Rain like he's in the Eels. Dirty Water is a faster version of Grohl's sole Nirvana offering, Marigold. And no one would blink if Miley Cryus showed up on the cheesy country ballad Happy Ever After (Zero Hour).

But Grohl isn't stupid. This isn't Kid A. The Foos aren't capable of reinventing the wheel anymore. Instead, Concrete and Gold ticks all the boxes, adding just enough flourishes to keep things interesting for lifetime fanclub members and maintain the Foos' status as summer's biggest stadium rock drawcard.

Right now, that's about the best a Foos fan could hope for. But you could just listen to that 90-second opening song. That does the trick too.

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Foo Fighters - Concrete and Gold

Label: Sony
Verdict: The best Foos record a fan could hope for

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