I bet you’re all asking yourselves ? with the exception of those Zack Morrises out there ? what the hell is a Foo Fighter?

Well, since I’m such a nerd, I’ll tell you. A Foo Fighter is one of a series of UFOs spotted by American patrol planes in the aftermath of WWII. Some thought that they were secret weapons of some kind, undoubtedly some sophisticated trebuchet.

However, in this article we will adapt a more current definition of Foo Fighters ? the modern rock band headed by Dave Grohl in the wake of Nirvana. The Foo Fighters have released their fourth album, “One by One,” which features the whole band ? Dave, Taylor, Nate and Chris.

Four albums full of music and seven years past the Kurt Cobain travesty, Dave Grohl has definitely galvanized his solo standing in modern rock. Foo Fighters have definitely come a long way since their debut album where Grohl played all the instruments.

But luckily for fans, Grohl respectfully declined the invitation of Tom Petty to play drums for the Heartbreakers and continued to make Foo music. “One By One,” produced by Nick Raskulinecz, who has worked with Queens of the Stone Age, System of a Down and Superdrag, has been hyped up as the Foo Fighters’ hardest album to date.

I think, however, the album has fallen short of these bone-crushing expectations.

The first single off of the album, “All My Life,” along with track two, “Low,” garner the heavy distortion, dark feel and high intensity that we were told to expect.

Then with “Have It All” they bring in a chorus with romantic harmonies, which have been frequently employed by the Foo Fighters on previous albums. The album also carries the ballad “Halo,” a super-great song which saves the distortion for the chorus and bridge/solo section ? not particularly dark.

“Lonely as You Are” and “Overdrive” sound like they could have been left over from the Foo Fighters’ Platinum and Grammy-nominated “There is Nothing Left to Lose.”

The heaviness and darkness of the album is there, but it doesn’t scream “Shit! This isn’t like the Foo Fighters at all!” It is mainly present in the new guitar tones, which have a more garage-like and less produced feel reminiscent of early Alice In Chains without the big, hairy, moose balls. There are also some new dissonant licks to frame their new tracks.

This, to me, gives the Foo Fighters more authenticity of their being bred from the same sludge as the grunge rock giants like Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Soundgarden.

A great example of this is “Tired of You,” a slow dirge with creeping, harmonizing, distorted guitar in the chorus that makes it sound like it could almost be a B-side off of Alice In Chains’ “Jar of Flies.”

Finally, “Come Back,” an eight-minute song, is a progression forward for the Foo Fighters, away from their shorter and more pop-scented songs.

Since I’ve only been reviewing albums that I purchase myself to match my liking, I would have to give this album a winking, smiling thumbs-up. It is a look back to the early nineties grunge rock and a step forward for the Foo Fighters.

Will the album do as well as their previous efforts? I don’t know. I said I was a nerd, not a psychic.

For any touring or band information, you can check www.foofighters.com and you can pick up “One By One” at your favorite local record store.

Salko can be reached at dsalko@campustimes.org.

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