Foo Fighters | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Foo Fighters

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The expected thing to do when confronted with the debut record from Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters is to marvel at the pop smarts and hooky tricks conjured up by the former Nirvana drummer, who built the thing from scratch in the studio, playing everything himself but one guitar track; these are smarts and hooks that you could be forgiven for thinking he might be without, even taking into account his pre-Nirvana work with the D.C. hardcore outfit Scream. But this approach, of course, is reminiscent of the old saw about the dancing pig: the marvel is not that the pig dances well, but that he dances at all. Taking away such bonus points, the record, which is basically the 90s equivalent of a George Harrison album, falls a bit flat. Grohl's songwriting seems a bit received: his hooks--carefully doled out, one per song--tend to be repeated until they become tiresome; the lyrics, functionally obscure and unencumbered with any Cobain-like angst, are as a consequence nothing revelatory. There are also a few too many hardcorey rave-ups ("Watershed," "Weenie Beenie"), which, while not unconvincing, seem a bit dated for 1995. Otherwise you can take refuge in the handful of tracks---"This Is a Call," "Big Me"---that suggest that better things will come from Grohl in the future. Shudder to Think and Bare Minimum open this sold-out show. Saturday, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.

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