EP review: Foo Fighters - Saint Cecilia

Foo Fighters - Saint Cecilia EP

Foo Fighters - Saint Cecilia EP - Credit: Archant

Dave Grohl cuts to the quick with an exciting slug of lean rock, says Stephen Moore.

Named after the Austin, Texas, hotel where it was recorded over two weekends, there’s a refreshing lack of gloss on this Butch Vig-produced clutch of tunes, given away free from this week (head to saintceciliaep.com).

Now dedicated to the victims of the Paris attacks, it was originally intended as a ‘thank you’ to fans and is leaner, meaner and cooler than Sonic Highways.

While the title track is a latter-day Foos FM-friendly track, Sean reveals a harder-edged guitar riff, ups the tempo and grins manically at the band’s brusque late-’90s beginnings.

It’s an hors d’ouevre for the rusty hacksaw guitar and shredded vocals of Saviour Breath, a visceral, turbo-charged yet tuneful belter boasting a stonking guitar solo that could have been plucked from the studio tapes of their debut.

Iron Rooster, a strummed ballad that sways gently in the breeze while exploring frustration, timidity and missed opportunities through the metaphor of a sculpture held against its will, gains extra poignancy and emotive clout in Paris’ wake.

The Neverending Sigh brings it back to 2015 with another slab of stadium-sized guitar riffs and Grohl’s trademark harmonic yells, bookending the EP with a nifty guitar solo outro.

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Stripping out the guff and nailing some solid melodies reveals a revitalised Foos.

4/5 stars