Foo Fighters - Saint Cecilia (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Foo Fighters

Saint Cecilia (2015)

self released

Foo Fighters are the biggest rock and roll band in the world. They’re popular enough to sell at Walmart but also riff hard enough to satiate your arena filling needs. If modern rock radio sounded more like Foo Fighters, the world would be a better place. And, so, like the leaders of other genres, Dave Grohl and co. have dropped free, unannounced music.

Saint Cecilia compiles five tracks recorded by the band (and guests Ben Kweller, Gary Clark Jr., and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band) in Houston during their tour supporting Sonic Highways, or the album we’d all like to forget. The EP, named after the hotel they stayed in named after the patron saint of musicians, acts nicely as a follow up to 2011’s Wasting Light, a late career highlight. “Saint Cecilia” sounds like the next natural step for the band: a little bigger, more universal themes, and a band playing at full capacity.

No matter how you feel about the Foos, they're always enjoying themselves—there’s not an insincere bone in Dave Grohl’s body. “Iron Rooster,” the EP's weakest track, is a perfect example of late album filler that they still commit one hundred percent to. Which is fine, because after Grohl’s fall from the stage and subsequent throne performances, we are treated to songs like “Sean” and “Savior Breath.” These tracks, along with “White Limo” from Wasting Light, are some of the most aggressive work in the band’s career.

Following the tragic events in Paris, Foo Fighters released this free. On the website for the EP, there is a link to donate to the victims of the Paris attacks. Grohl is a noted friend of Eagles of Death Metal and the tragedy certainty hit him in a personal spot. While this had no effect on the music, it’s worth pointing out because, as Grohl puts it, “perhaps these songs can bring a little light into this sometimes dark world.”

Sure, Saint Cecilia fills itself with all inclusive lyrics that Grohl has become known for. Yes, there are some midtempo shifts that you wish you could skip over. But out of five songs, four are solid. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this EP is not its sudden release but that these guys aren’t forcing us to listen to a passion project anymore. This time, they’re back to sharing the party.