By E.R. Pulgar
Last year, Dave Grohl announced that 2014 would be “a really big year for the Foo Fighters, without question.” Ending their hiatus they took after 2011’s “Wasting Light” soon after it was announced, the band has been fervently writing new material for their eighth studio album, to be released next month.
Grohl, the band’s frontman, also announced that the band would be shooting a “rockumentary” for HBO titled “Sonic Highways,” which was later revealed to be the album’s name.
“Something from Nothing” is the world’s first taste of the album, released alongside the first episode of the series.
As the song starts, Grohl’s hushed performance, overlaid on top of guest guitarist Rick Nielson’s (of Cheap Trick) chugging guitar, echoes back to 1997’s “Everlong.” As the song continues, Grohl builds up the tension by maintaining gruff and subdued vocals, which become more prominent with each verse, and drummer Taylor Hawkins pounds away furiously, allowing listeners to hear a true arena-rock anthem that evolves from a beginning that could have been sluggish.
The song proves a relentless tour de force, and completes its transformation by the third minute with a towering and memorable crescendo: Grohl’s scratchy grunge howl overlaid with a powerful and overbearing guitar solo. This huge ending only grows as the song ends, Grohl devouring the mic, yelling “I came from nothing,” a primal and echoing sentiment almost as rapturous as the guitar.
Structure wise, we don’t see too much of a difference from past Foo Fighters songs: Grohl is still as powerful a frontman as ever, his voice still a gravely and all-encompassing shriek, the band still relies on chugging guitar’s to build to towering hooks and, of course, there are the towering hooks that feel like going through a wind tunnel of unadulterated rock music. They’re an overbearing band, and “Something from Nothing” is a testament to this, but that’s what makes them great.
“Sonic Highways” comes out on Nov. 10.
E.R. Pulgar is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org