Written by Andrew Barr (@weeandreww)
After being announced as headliners for what feels like every festival on the circuit, including a rescheduled slot at Glastonbury’s iconic Pyramid Stage, Foo Fighters have released a surprise new single – well, as much of a surprise as it could be in the circumstances. Foo Fighters’ comeback comes in the form of a 5-minute epic, simply titled Run.
It is crucial to discuss that despite being a hot property on the festival circuit, Foo Fighters need a return to form as a recording band after their previous LP Sonic Highways and 2015’s Saint Cecilia EP received mixed reviews. So, does Run see the Foo Fighters return to their frenetic best?
The answer is both yes and no. The first 40 seconds or so act as a red herring, with Dave Grohl crooning softly over a dreamy, finger-picked guitar backdrop. The first lyrics “wake up / run for your life with me” marry the tone perfectly. However, the song grows out of subtleness in no time at all, with pounding drums getting louder and louder before a snarling, looping guitar riff hijacks the track.
This riff allows the Foo Fighters to transition into their best: Grohl swaps croons for screams in the track’s verses, intertwined with a more polished, produced vocal which only seems to add even more intensity.
However, as scintillating as the verses are, they are let down by an average-at-best chorus where it feels like Grohl et al are doing all they can to make Run tick the “anthemic” box purely for live sing-alongs. The chorus lyrically is just a repeat of the intro, and the same lyrics feel far more tedious here without the dreamy intro.
Perhaps the track’s biggest flaw is its 5-minute length, which leaves it feeling extremely bloated, especially when the track is completed by a guitar solo which threatens to throw it into full “da rock” territory, which Foo Fighters’ previous 2 releases have flirted with. Overall, Run is not a bad track, but it will take more from the Foo Fighters to justify being booked on their current material rather than their greatest hits.