As one of the more notable bands of the 21st century rock lexicon, Foo Fighters have been one of the few traditional rock superstars we’ve found in recent years. Even selling out stadiums and arenas worldwide couldn’t stop the band from acting like they’re just another small town band that likes to have a good time. From trolling the Westboro Baptist Church before a few shows, to Dave Grohl performing on a specially designed throne following a leg injury, the band doesn’t seem to forget that they’re a few ordinary people that just happen to play rock music for mass audiences. About a year after the ambitious Sonic Highways, the band dropped Saint Cecilia, a free, surprise EP was released online as a sign of appreciation to fans of the band. As a token of thanks, Saint Cecilia satisfies expectations, performing just as intended.
This EP compiles whatever has been expected of the band in the past and molds itself to be five songs that cover all of those bases. The modern rock anthem, punky/grunge attack and ballad tricks all come into play with Saint Cecilia. Seeing as the project was put together over the course of a few weeks in October, the depth of content that the band can hit isn’t really here, nor does it have to be. It isn’t a compilation of failed ideas, as these tracks are pretty full-fledged undertakings, not just a few B-sides or completion of old songs that were thrown away. Everything here is pretty fresh in terms of quality, sounding as high quality as we’ve grown to expect from the Foo Fighters.
These tracks probably would’ve been filler or bonus tracks on any of their other albums, but it’s pretty neat to hear how well they work side-by-side. You can really hear the different direction this band has taken over the course of the career, like “Iron Rooster” having the more somber qualities of Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace, or “Sean” possessing the high octane rhythms found on the first disc of In Your Honor. Coming in light of the recent events in Paris, the band has acknowledged that this EP is simply a celebration of life and music, and there isn’t much subtext to it here. The band doesn’t preview anything to expect from them in the future, nor do they rehash old tunes for the sake of it. Saint Cecilia is simply the band thanking fans for the ride they’ve been on, and it satisfies in all ways that it can. The ride is quick and isn’t too draining, just another way of the band proving their abilities as musicians and respectable rock stars.