The Foos have been a perennial influence on rock music for a long time now. A band that can still draw massive crowds, but not one to take the genre forwards. ‘Run’ isn’t going to change that, but it does serve as a reminder of how energising the band can be.
This is familiar ground for the band: a two-speed rock track built on uplifting verses and a heavy chorus. It’s structurally similar to ‘All My Life’ but lacks that song’s killer instinct. Still, it packs a punch. ‘Run’ feels like an extended jam that’s been moulded, perhaps crudely, into a radio ready format.
However this means the track sounds raw, it sounds urgent and has a pace and a purpose missing from their slicker later-career tracks like ‘Rope’. It’s a heart-on-sleeve AOR song with zero pretensions about being high art.
Extremes of tone have always lived at the heart of the Foo Fighters; they pretty much perfected the quiet-loud dynamic since taken up by bands like Imagine Dragons. But here they are more extreme and the jump from pretty verse to scuzzy build to anthemic chorus is more noticeable. ‘Best of You’ has some rough moments and Dave Grohl sing-screaming at times, but it’s still a smooth and measured pop tune. Here the poppier elements are like U2 whilst the hard rock stuff is like QOTSA, which is a fun blend even if it does lack cohesion.
A lesser band would struggle to stand out in a song this choppy, but the Foos play so well together. They are one of the tightest units in rock and the playing is just phenomenal, especially from drummer Taylor Hawkins. Better still though is Dave Grohl, who is in fine voice here.
‘Run’ is no game changer but it reminds us of the visceral thrill of loud rock music. It reminds you how tame a lot of guitar music is these days, in a genre dominated by twangy indie rock. Once again the Foos have thrown down the gauntlet to Royal Blood, Kings of Leon and yes, my beloved Muse. THIS is a rock song. Get it learnt.
And any excuse to link to the greatest rock track ever made…