Saint Cecilia review by Foo Fighters

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  • Released: Nov 23, 2015
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (65 votes)
Foo Fighters: Saint Cecilia

Sound — 8
Sometimes, the best things in life are free. Case in point, "Saint Cecilia," the new EP from Foo Fighters which the band are giving away absolutely gratis. Recorded over the course of two weekends at the Saint Cecilia hotel in Austin, Texas, the disc finds Grohl and co. keeping things fast, loose and off-the-cuff across a collection of tracks that range from McCartney-esque balladry to balls-out-rock.

"Saint Cecilia" is not, as many expected, a sequel to "Sonic Highways." But it is a definite spiritual successor. As with the aforementioned, this latest record has more of a down-and-dirty, ad hock vibe than past Foos albums. Its rapid conception and creation recalls both the legendary 12-hour sessions for the first Beatles album and the DIY ethics of the hardcore punk movement (comparisons which noted music buff Dave Grohl was likely aware of). The result is an EP is chock full of energy, with a warmth that is instantly infectious. It sounds refreshingly live, reminding you at every turn just how proficient and locked-in messrs Grohl, Mendel, Shifflet, Smear and Hawkins are.

Song wise, "Saint Cecilia" finds the Foo Fighters doing what they do best. The title track and "Sean" are anthemic rockers in the classic Foos style, while "Savior Breath" is a fuzzed out blast of lo-fi punk fuckery, replete with throat-scraping vocals and face-melting guitar leads. "Iron Rooster" takes things down a notch, with moments that recall Paul McCartney ballads and mellower Radiohead numbers in equal measure. Final track "The Neverending Sigh" is probably the record highlight. Heavy on riffery, replete with big on sing-along chorus, it's an appropriate reminder (as if any were needed) of why Dave Grohl's crew are still leading the charge when it comes to rock these days.

Lyrics — 8
The great thing about Dave Grohl as a lyricist is that he doesn't beat around the bush ("All My Life" being the notable exception, if you catch my drift...). His words are straightforwardly unpretentious, heartfelt and probably part of the reason that the band's music is so relatable to so many. Whether calling for salvation and healing on the title track...

"I got this feeling, I can't keep it down anymore
Bring me some healing
Saint Cecilia, carry me home to your house of broken bones."

...Or talking about love, acceptance and drunken truths on "Iron Rooster"...

"Have you ever been drunk enough to say what you wanted to say
Without no words getting in the way?
Have you ever been in love enough to be who you wanted to be?
I won't mind you if you don't mind me."

...Grohl's words have, as always, a near-universal resonance.

Overall Impression — 8
"Saint Cecilia" doesn't exactly see Foo Fighters re-inventing the wheel. But when the wheel works this well, why would they want to? The band's formula is a winner, and the strength, energy and heartfelt delivery of this latest record is evidence of that. Ultimately, this is another fine record from a band at the top of their game at a price that's hard to beat. What's not to like?

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I loved this EP, thought it was a great concept being recorded in the very place that they started the whole Sonic Highways concept. I submitted the chords to Saint Cecilia at 2 a.m. last night after the EP came out and it should be up soon! (:
    It's like the 5 songs should have been added to Sonic Highways, good rock n' roll, not the best from the FF but still cool to have new songs ! Please listen the riff from 'Sean' starting at 0:50 and enjoy. Edit : Gotta say, the worst thing from this EP is the cover haha ! But it doesn't matter at all
    Great music! That reminds me how it feels real rock. Some punky stuff...savior breath. Saint cecilia, fucking hit. Neverending sight top guitars...
    My reaction is its ok but maybe it'd be healthy for this band, quality-wise, to take a break. If you release mediocre stuff all the time, surely you'll lose perspective on what a great album feels like. Yeh its cool that they're prolific, it doesn't harm anything for them to put it out, but my fear is how are they going to crank it up a notch if they start believing every jam is release-worthy?
    I totally agree, I mean these songs are hardly bad but even if you don't like Sonic Highways you can still appreciate that those songs were thought out well, they sound like they took effort to craft them, I don't feel that really comes through on this EP. To me it sounds like they wrote a few songs and recorded them straight away before doing any analysis or critiquing of them and once you're doing that it's a pretty slippery slope to just believing all you write is golden.
    Clutch Control
    Even wasting light sounded pretty uninspired. Music by numbers. I'm a Foo's fan but they should take a break and come back with a new perspective. Nothing they have released is really bad, bar maybe half of Sonic Highway, but I've not been wowed by them for a long while.
    I'd liked it better, if they put the 5 Tracks to the 8 Tracks of Sonic Highways on the disc. The 5 Songs are pretty cool, once again
    I want to like it but their recent stuff to me is missing something. havent really enjoyed their stuff since One by One
    This quick to review album will continue the conspiracy that the Foo Fighters hold some monetary gain with UG. Or they're a favorite of the site owner. Either one isn't a bad thing. A good review though.
    over saturation will ruin this band. I already feel tired of hearing about foo fighters. been tired of grohl for a long ass time
    I absolutely love this EP. A lot of my friends absolutely love this EP (all of us being huge Foo fans who weren't crazy about Sonic Highways). I've only seen extreme negativity for this EP on UG today, honestly.
    I have been downvoted...check the main article on UG to see what I am talking about, guys.
    Man, don't worry about downvotes. There's a fair bit of hive-mindedness around here, and you just kinda gotta deal with it. Some people'll downvote opinions that challenge their own and it's frustrating, but there's nothing we can do about it.
    Never seen a band before like this that regurgitates the same crap album after album and the lemmings keep buying it...
    Yeah man it's pretty crazy, look at all the awesome prog rock from the 70's like King Crimson, Yes, Rush, and the more straight up rock like Zep (although calling Zeppelin straight up rock sounds insane because they are so freaking awesome and groundbreaking). Honestly I believe that modern studio recording is/has already ruined music. There is no life in any of this metronome'd snore-fest. Come on Foo Fighters, you have to layer instruments on a track that has 3 parts and is comprised of 5 chords? It's lazy and uninspired. Listen to old album takes of the Doors on youtube. They literally do take after take of songs like Roadhouse Blues and you can hear how each take is a little different and its exciting, even if you don't like the music. Music today isn't exciting, it's expected. You know exactly what a mainstream band's album is going to sound like before it comes out. It's sad really, that its come to this.
    I don't think I've ever been so disappointed with a chorus as with Iron Rooster. The verses were great and that was a lovely piano part but goodness that chorus was such a letdown
    What a waste of server space (neverending sigh)
    I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do.
    Ever since Dave did T C Voltures I hear such influence in the writing, arranging, ect. I miss just Foo. This isn't bad stuff mind you. Not Foo enuogh though..
    ahmedmemon283 · Nov 28, 2015 01:48 PM
    arsalking38 · Nov 26, 2015 11:06 PM
    I've listenes to this a few times now, and i think it's really good. Thanks for giving it for free Dave!