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"Heavy" isn't a word that comes to mind when you think of the Foo Fighters. Rockin'? Sure. Pumped-up? OK. Crushing? Hmm. Well, if you're doubting that last one, then clearly you haven't become privy to what Dave Grohl and Co. are capable of when they feel like going back to the basement and tapping into their hardcore roots. Throughout their entire catalog (yes, even some of their recent stuff), the Foo Fighters have occasionally dabbled in some genuinely heavy music, from chunky stoner-rock riffs and headbangable drum breakdowns, to some hair-raising vocal screeches that you didn't think the tuneful Grohl was capable of.
Of course, Grohl came up in hardcore (playing in the pioneering D.C. band Scream) and has dabbled in several metallic side projects over the years (from his guest-filled metal supergroup Probot to 2022's death-thrash one-off Dream Widow), and all of those groups are objectively heavier than the Foo Fighters. That said, there're some songs in the Foos repertoire that can easily get a mosh pit going, and we've rounded up the 10 heaviest of them all. Play them loud.
"The Colour and the Shape"
For decades now, Foo Fighters fans have compared the heaviness of "The Colour and the Shape" to the heaviness of Nirvana's "Endless, Nameless." The title track from Foo Fighters' triumphant sophomore album boasts a sludge bucket of a main riff, and it's filled to the brim with Nirvana's aggro-noise influences. It's about as wild and unkempt as the Foo Fighters have ever dared to be, and the song's heaviness is a joyous outlier from this classic album.
"Enough Space" is a firing piston of a rock & roll song, but what makes it one of the heavier Foo Fighters cuts is Dave Grohl's ferocious vocals. After a relatively quiet verse, Grohl goes absolutely rabid during the track's pummeling chorus, screaming "SPACE!" like a deranged passenger on the subway. The song's bridge even plays with some heavy dynamics in the vein of Nirvana's "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter."
"FFL (Fat Fucking Lie)"
"FFL" could be a fever dream of Dave Grohl's early influences. The song begins like a raging hardcore punk classic, going full speed ahead until Taylor Hawkins breaks down into a John Bonham-esque drum groove. The Foos suddenly delve into Black Sabbath territory with a Tony Iommi doom riff, then kick back into a hardcore crescendo as Grohl shreds his vocal cords into dust with one final scream.
"La Dee Da"
"La Dee Da" is like Foo Fighters' own commercial for the Big Muff bass pedal. The song's heavy groove wraps around cult-inspired lyrics mentioning Jim Jones, the leader of the People's Temple who compelled over 900 of his followers to drink cyanide-laced Kool Aid. Though "La Dee Da" doesn't sound too much heavier than the average Foo Fighters cut, the lyrics touch on some of the heaviest themes of the Foos' career, and the overall presentation has a gnarly bite to it.
"Low" is so heavy it required the alt-rock radio titans to tune down to drop D, the standard tuning for dark metal chords and huge riffs. On this One by One cut, Foo Fighters explored grittier sonic territory while Grohl caked his vocal delivery in visceral gruff and grime. The music video — featuring a deranged performance by Jack Black — is by far the weirdest of Foo Fighters' whole career, adding to the dirty, defiled mood of "Low."
Foo Fighters are masters of the triumphant rock anthem, and "Run" is one of the best pieces of the band's modern era. Taylor Hawkins implored a massive gallop on this Concrete & Gold cut, giving humongous weight to the deep rhythm of the song's verse riff. Hawkins beats the fuck out of his kit here, giving "Run" the heavy edge it needed to balance out its softer, smoother moments.
It sounds like Foo Fighters stole one of Crowbar's pedal boards for "Stacked Actors." That main riff is 100 percent certified beef. It's so low and swampy that it almost feels like it doesn't belong on There Is Nothing Left to Lose, a record that's sold well over a million copies in the U.S. alone, but it opens the album nevertheless. Reminiscent of early Queens of the Stone Age or even the Nineties stoner-rock champs Fu Manchu, "Stack Actors" is a Foos track you can skate (or mosh) to all day long.
Despite how polished their sound would become later on, Foo Fighters' debut album is a vulgar display of raw power. There're no bells or whistles on the standout "Wattershed," a ripper that lashes back to the Washington D.C. hardcore scene that Dave Grohl came up in. The heaviness on this track comes from its attitude and take-no-prisoners vibe — a primordial example of the Foos' rock & roll fury.
"Weenie Beenie" is the bastard stepchild of Dave Grohl and desert-rock titans Kyuss. It's another Foo Fighters example of choosing a heavy tone and sticking it into the right song. The chugging at 1:40 is just friggin' gnarly, and Dave Grohl's screams sound like they've been recorded though a megaphone stuffed with socks — in the best way possible, of course.
Look ... Motörhead icon Lemmy Kilmister is the "White Limo" driver in this video, so it already has the "heavy" stamp of approval. That not enough for you? The guitar tone is mean as hell, Dave Grohl's screams are wild and cut-throat, and the mix is dirtier than the Sound City Neve 8028 console. Crank this bad boy up and let loose.