As one Foo Fighters’ song title says, ex-Nirvana (and before that, ex-Scream) drummer Dave Grohl is “Alone Easy Target.” Even though Pat Smear, a touring bandmate of Seattle’s Fab Three, plays guitar on the Foos’ debut, Grohl’s the one under media scrutiny. He’s at the mike with a guitar now, giving former Sunny Day Realtor William Goldsmith a turn on drums. Fortunately, his work is more than respectable. Yeah, the Foo Fighters’ muscular rock does sound quite a bit like Nirvana’s, and yeah, Grohl’s smooth voice doesn’t communicate anguish the way Cobain’s did. Still, if emotional baggage is a requirement for creativity, then Grohl qualifies as a true artiste. Foo Fighters is a strong album, due in part to effective pacing. The band wisely chooses to open the disc with the melodious, energetic “This Is a Call” and the angrier but resigned “I’ll Stick Around”; these songs echo in the memory as the album segues to a wistful but mercifully unsappy ballad, “Big Me.” Throughout, tense but downtempo tracks like“Floaty” alternate with such loud attention-getters as the churning “Alone Easy Target” and “Weenie Beenie,” in which Grohl growls terse phrases through a haze of static.

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