By Dane Anderson
Released March 8th, 2013 - Sony Music
Sound City is the documentary directed by Dave Grohl about the history of the Sound City Studios, which was active from 1969 to 2011. It's a now legendary studio in Los Angeles where many artists recorded, not just their breakthrough albums but albums that have gone on to define rock n roll history.
Albums from artists and bands such as Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Cheap Trick, Rick Springfield, Pat Benatar, Tom Petty, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Johnny Cash, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, and Metallica were all recorded at Sound City Studios. The documentary discusses the uniqueness that was Sound City and why it became a successful time for many who went there.
The soundtrack Sound City: Reel to Reel comes off the back of that, where Grohl joins together with many of the artists to record new
songs, not from Sound City studios as its no longer in existence, but instead on the Neve 8028 analog mixing console that Grohl purchased from the studios and set up in his own recording studio - Studio 606.
Joining him is an almost who's who of rock history as Stevie Nicks appears on You Can't Fix This, which taps into the timeless Fleetwood Mac feel that's become synonymous, singing about the devil. It grooves throughout each verse building towards a big chorus but instead delightfully delivering one that's more subdued and fitting. Rick Springfield sings with a majority of the Foo Fighters on The Man That Never Was. It's fast and certainly packs a rocky punch.
Paul McCartney shows up and completes an almost Nirvana reunion in Cut Me Some Slack, joining Grohl, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic. From Can To Can't sees Grohl team with Slipknot and Stone Sour's Corey Taylorwho sings over guitars to begin with, until unleashing one of the heaviest tracks on the album. Centipede is almost the opposite, starting with acoustic guitars and the smooth voice of Josh Homme, who is also joined by Grohl, Chris Goss, and Alain Johannes. Johannes again appears with Grohl and Homme on A Trick With No Sleeve, which has one of the best choruses on the album.
It's a case of save the best till last with the finale Mantra. A beautifully crafted song from three of the best minds in music today - Grohl, Homme, and Trent Reznor. It's a song that doesn't lend itself toward either artist's musical styles, instead creating a roller coaster ride of astonishment as it slowly climbs with each verse of drums and singing, before reaching the top and hurtling down with the speed of a race car, ultimately leaving you out of breathe and wanting more.
It's the wet dream of many and one can only wish they could collaborate again soon. The talent that Dave Grohl lends himself to is endless, whether working with his own band the Foo Fighters, or with many of the other artists he's collaborated with, the man knows no boundaries. What he does on the Sound City: Reel to Reel Soundtrack not only showcases his talent but also the many artists who appear. It's unique in that the different styles shine through in a way that you could almost imagine yourself in that time when each artist originally recorded their albums. It's a true tribute to the now infamous Sound City Studios.
5 / 5