The goal of each episode of both the Sonic Highways docu-series and the Foo Fighters upcoming 8th studio album of the same name is to convey the musical character and soul of eight significant US cities and if there is a city whose soul Dave Grohl knows more than any other it is Washington, DC and the Northern Virginia suburbs where he was raised.
A punk fanboy who played in a number of small scale punk bands in Virginia before dropping out of high school to join Scream, you can definitely hear some hard charging punk influences within “Feast or Famine,” the second track to be released off of the Sonic Highways album and a song that was recorded at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington, Virginia.
Here’s the thing, though: those inspirations seem to get suffocated by the poptastic and polished Foo Fighters sound. I’m not complaining, it’s just hard for the Foo Fighters to fully sound like anyone or anything else. To me, that means the concept of this concept album feels as if it exists more on the surface than in the songs, but since the songs have been so enjoyable so far and since the band seems so committed to telling us a story about these cities — on the show more than on the album — then f*ck it. Like Bobby McFerrin said, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
By the way, I spent some of my formative years in suburban Northern Virginia too. I hope this article was sufficiently punk rock for you.