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FOO FIGHTERS In Your Honor   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Wednesday, 15 June 2005
John Kerry would be proud to have inspired this...


The first song sounds like Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. This is not always a good thing. That said, the rest of it doesn’t. Like other Foo Fighters albums, “In Your Honor” sound like the work of a thoroughly nice bloke who likes rocking like a bastard. The problem here, as always, is that whenever Dave Grohl can fulfill the promise of his work, the mind-crunching riffola of Black Sabbath covering The Beatles, he still sounds as if he’s faking being the baddest bad-ass rocker ever.


No doubt Grohl is a stupendous musician. One of the best drummers on the planet, and an excellent guitarist and songwriter, who singlehandedly elevated Nirvana from being promising to perfect, and the current, definitive Foos lineup is an excellent collection of musicians that will probably remain for years, and “In Your Honor”, well, it ain’t all that.


It has fanastic songs. “The Best Of You” singlehandedly destroys the lie that Kurt was the brains behind Nirvana, and the rest of the first half of the album, a slew of crunching rawk monsters is as good as anything else the Foos have done. “No Way Back” practically enviserates the souls of lesser bands and eats them for breakfast. But “In Your Honor” is not an unqualified success, being a monochrome set of moods. With 10 RAAAWK songs and 10 acoustic strums, it’s all light and shade.


Halfway through it suddenly takes a radical left turn to become a set of largely homogenic acoustic numbers. Shorn of the variety of quiet/loud to a more limited palette of quiet, Grohl’s abilities become focused on a smaller picture, which brings out the limitations of his talents. Simply put, the acoustic disc sounds like one long acoustic number that fails to really shine. There are some fabulous songs there (“Friend of a Friend”) but by and large, it’s a second disc of mellow b-sides that really should’ve been integrated into the body of the main set and trimmed to create a more cohesive record.


As it stands, “In Your Honor” is an almost schizophrenic, somewhat flawed, wonderful experiment. It is however, excellent value for money which offers a kaleidoscope of styles and expands The Foo’s palette to something which promises a whole new world for them to explore. To the future, and now!


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