Song 191: Foo Fighters, “Monkey Wrench” (1997)

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“Monkey Wrench,” the first single from the Foo Fighters record The Colour and the Shape, was a hit in 1997, but you don’t hear it much now. “Everlong” and “My Hero” are the songs from that record that have survived years of rock radio play. I love “Everlong,” but “My Hero” has never been interesting to me. “Monkey Wrench” deserves that spot on Clear Channel playlists.

Whenever I hear “Monkey Wrench,” I always think of the word “blistering.” This song seems to roar the paint off walls, sear the enamel off teeth. It’s abrasive, to say the least, in a way that only Dave Grohl can accomplish. Also typical of Grohl, however, is the fact that the song is so dang appealing. It’s not only catchy but invigorating, as if he’s lending us the energy and momentum that he used to get out of the relationship that caused him so much pain. Despite his penchant for screaming, Grohl is an immensely likable performer, and you can tell from Foo Fighters’ records and live shows that he gives his all, all the time.

Grohl apparently sang that crazy bridge all in one breath, which I can’t even imagine. The man may get well-deserved props for his guitar and drum playing, but he’s a pretty amazing singer.

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