But Here We Are
If parting is, indeed, the sweet sorrow that Shakespeare made it out to be, think of Dave Grohl’s But Here We Are as a forlornly passionate and sternly sugary farewell to his longtime pal and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, and to his best friend and mother, Virginia. Death makes children and poets of us all, guiding Grohl to huddle together with co-producers and co-Foos Greg Kurstin, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, and Rami Jaffee to craft a private, public mourning that rages with zero nuance. Which is fine. The dead and its familiars have zip time for subtlety.
In quick order—from opening track “Rescued” forward, with Grohl keeping mean time on drums just as he did on his last sorrow-filled mission with Nirvana—the band pushes through the immediacy of life’s end like they were kicking in a green room door. “It came in a flash / It came out of nowhere / It happened so fast / And then it was over.”
From that raver forward, the icily compact, Foo-as-usual, soft-loud-louder 10-song album cuts through Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ theory of the five emotional stages of grief, running from gut-hurt and vicious (“Wouldn’t it be dangerous / If nothing was restraining us?” on “Nothing at All”) to sad acceptance (“Pictures of us sharing songs and cigarettes / This is how I’ll always picture you,” from “Under You”). No one wallows or mourns beyond the Foos’ rugged, rapid-fire pace.
Musically, But Here We Are is Grohl in stasis. It’s once you listen under the shroud of hardcore slamming darkness that you see and hear the light within the Foo Fighters’ newest, punky album.