- 02 Jun 23
Emotionally raw comeback from rock heroes
Having released the Foo Fighters’ 10th album in early 2021, Dave Grohl could scarcely have imagined the circumstances in which the band’s next record would follow, two-and-a-half years later. With the frontman’s best friend, beloved Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins, having tragically passed away in March 2022, the grief was compounded when Grohl’s mother, Virginia, died later in the year.
As a consequence, But Here We Are is an album that radiates pain, though it also boasts the kind of defiance that has become a Grohl trademark, most famously on ‘Times Like These’ – one of several Foos tracks to have taken on such classic status, they’ve practically become contemporary standards. Opener ‘Rescued’ is a vintage FF rocker, with Beatles-y melodic flourishes occasionally breaking through the blizzard of guitars.
Barnstorming rock is also the order of the day on ‘Under You’ and the title track, the latter featuring a notably raw vocal from Grohl. Throughout for record, the singer reveals his haunted state of mind, whether on ‘Hearing Voices’ (“Late at night I tell myself / Nothing this good could last forever”), or the acoustic ballad ‘The Glass (“I had a vision of you / And just like that / I was left without it”).
The album closes with a devastating one-two, commencing with ‘The Teacher’, named for the profession in which Grohl’s mother worked. Alternating between quiet moodiness and frantic rock, the track – as if beside itself with grief – eventually disintegrates in a wall of NIN-style noise.
But Here We Are closes with ‘Rest’, a bittersweet ballad in which Grohl says a final goodbye to Taylor and Virginia with the lines, “Had another dream of us / In the warm Virginia sun / There I will meet you”.
It’s a poignant note on which to end the most emotionally draining album Grohl has made since In Utero – this year celebrating its 30th anniversary. Playing it this summer will hopefully provide him with a well-deserved level of catharsis.