Let’s be real here, the Foo Fighters are getting old. Don’t get me wrong, they still know how to burn the house down, but in the songwriting department, they’re starting to show their age some. For every neck-squeezing hit like “The Pretender” there’s about a half a dozen “Baker Street”s waiting patiently nearby. There’s nothing wrong with that — some acts really hit some new highs with age (Springsteen, anyone?) — but it’s just something to note. With an act that sports someone as aggressive and visceral as Dave “I was the fucking drummer for Nirvana” Grohl, it’s just an odd note to scribble, write, or read.
Case in point, new single “Wheels”. By now, most fans have heard the cut, thanks to all the presidential hoopla earlier this year, but for those out of the loop, it’s officially here. Don’t get too excited, though. The track, which will appear in the band’s forthcoming Greatest Hits collection, trots with this sluggish Tom Petty-like swagger (think: “Learning to Fly”) that sounds less for the arena and more for the garage — ahem, your father’s garage that is. But, maybe that’s what Grohl intended; after all, the video captures the band in a very laid back, vintage-decorated practice space. When Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins harmonize, clouds pop up in place of their reflections, adding to this quasi-introspective-like atmosphere. It’s all sort of… geriatric, but in a pleasant way. It’s staple modern rock, but it’s sung by Grohl. And c’mon, you can’t really lose with a Foo tune, and while it’s hardly memorable, you have to remember that it is for a bullshit greatest hits package.
Food for thought: In the age of digital music, what the hell’s the point of a greatest hits collection anyhow?