Foo Fighters celebrate their 10th anniversary with their fifth release, a double album of 83 minutes that is split into a rock disc and an acoustic one. Leader Dave Grohl wanted In Your Honor to be the one album the band is remembered for in the same way that he feels Physical Graffiti is the definitive Led Zeppelin album.
The first disc is filled with the straightforward, guitar-driven, pop-rock anthems that have been the band’s claim to fame. It opens with the title track, a slow build-up of feedback, guitars and Grohl’s raspy screams before the drums kick in. The song picks up the pace and blasts off the last minute, flying straight into “No Way Back.”
“DOA” has a good rhythm, driven by Taylor Hawkins’ drumming. Don’t be surprised if it turns up in a summer blockbuster because it would be right at home playing under an action sequence, especially a car chase, from a film. The song flows straight into the next track “Hell’ without taking a break. It works musically and thematically.
The disc ends with “End Over End.” You can hear the influence of Neil Young in both the sound of the jangly guitar and Grohl’s voice in the opening. The song then segues into the usual Foo Fighters’ sound before coming back to Young with a long feedback fade-out to close the song.
The rock disc appears to be for the fans and the acoustic disc is music they wanted to make for themselves. They create a mix of alt-county, jazz, old school rock, and ballads that are sure to induce audiences to break out their lighters or cell phones to light up arenas. While the expansion and maturation of their music creates a more captivating set, they never could have gotten away with releasing it on its own, which is the unfortunate state of the record business. Luckily, they found a way to do so anyway.
To help them in this venture Foo Fighters invited a number of guests to join them. Zeppelin's John Paul Jones plays piano and Petra Haden plays violin on “Miracle.” Jones returns on the mandolin for “Another Round” that also includes Danny Clinch on harmonica. Grohl’s former Queens of the Stone Age band mate, Josh Homme, provides some guitar work on “Razor” that sounds like an Eddie Van Halen solo just before the pyrotechnics happen.