Album: Foo Fighters

In Your Honour, SONY BMG
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The Independent Culture

Dave Grohl has been fighting Foo for almost 10 years now, a decade that has seen the band develop from its origins as a Nirvana side-project to what is probably the most dynamic and focused hard-rock group of its era. Then again, you don't need Iron Maiden and Mötley Crüe reunions to be aware of the current poverty of that particular genre. In Your Honour is the Foos' magnum opus, a double-album modelled on Zep's Physical Graffiti and Hüsker Dü's Zen Arcade, with pummelling rock guitar riffs lashed to strikingly hummable pop melodies. The package is roughly divided into one disc of familiar heavy rock and one of quieter, more acoustic pieces such as "Friend Of A Friend", a suitably sombre reminiscence of his first meeting with Kurt Cobain. The standout tracks are mostly from the rock disc: the vertiginous yearning of the single "Best Of You", the mordant stadium-punk nihilism of "DOA", and "No Way Back", whose melody and massive wall of guitar sound would seem to confirm the involvement of Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme. The acoustic disc has fewer choice moments, for all its Unplugged palette of pump organ, piano, accordion, mandolin and acoustic guitar. Its most memorable cut, "Virginia Moon", is also its least defensible, a ham-fisted, ersatz samba duet with Norah Jones that plays to neither party's strengths.