Wasting Light 4/12
For their seventh studio album, the Foo Fighters and producer Butch Vig had three rules: "It's got to be hooky, heavy and we're going analog all the way," says Vig, who first worked with Dave Grohl two decades ago on Nirvana's Nevermind. "It needed to sound like an atom bomb," adds Grohl. "That's why I called Butch." Last summer, the Foos set up in Grohl's two-car garage in Encino, California ("a ballad-free zone," says the singer), and hammered out face-melting riffs for tracks like "Back & Forth," "White Limo" and first single "Rope," which debuted atop Billboard's rock chart.
A few old friends helped flesh out the album's sound: Original guitarist Pat Smear is a full-fledged Foo again, Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould guests on "Dear Rosemary" ("I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if not for Hüsker Dü," says Grohl), and Grohl's former bandmate Krist Novoselic plays accordion and bass on the disc's darkest tune, "I Should Have Known." "I know it's our best record," says Grohl. "It's definitive, like AC/DC's Back in Black, Metallica's Black Album or Nevermind. It takes that last 15 years and reduces it to 48 minutes. It's bitchin'." - Austin Scaggs