Does Dave Grohl ever sleep? The near 23-minute instrumental song, “Play,” features Dave Grohl playing all of the instruments and is chaotic enough just in its concept alone. The “album” itself was recorded at East/West Studios in LA with the audio recorded by Darrell Thorp. The project came together to help promote music education in schools (so hell yeah to Grohl for doing this).
I highly recommend using a nice set of stereo headphones to fully absorb this entire work of art, rather than streaming it through a crappy pair of standard earbuds. This massive prog-rock odyssey is tailor-made for Dave Grohl, and has all of his many influences rubber-stamped over this opus. That being said, Grohl is precise in mastering the art of changing tempos, styles, and genres and knows exactly when to crank it up, or turn it down. The composure he plays with on “Play” is nothing short of a masterpiece.
The “map” for lack of a better word, above, shows a hand-drawn sketch from Dave Grohl that carefully shows the progression of playing each set of instruments in a live setting. Now for the track itself, it opens with the loud buzzing of a distant siren, and then some faint electric guitar blends into the dramatic drum intro, and the combination shows that Grohl is out to make a statement. The starts and stops of the drums, guitars, and bass, are worthy enough of being showcased on their own, and honestly, I’m not sure if adding vocals (at any point in the song) would have even enhanced this already epic song.
Grohl clearly did not “just jam” this song out. He carefully mapped out exactly what, when, and where to showcase the many emotions that go into a space-y, prog-rock song such as this. The unique and math rock elements of different time signatures are never too big for Grohl, as this song demands to be blared over the speakers in a live concert setting. He even recently attempted to play the song live during an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
The video below imagines Grohl being able to clone himself and play everything simultaneously, and is definitely worth watching. At this point in his career, Grohl has nothing left to prove, yet he continues to raise the bar and expectations with project-after-project and album-after-album of solid material. Words can barely describe just how awesome this track is, and if you’re able to snag a vinyl copy of this, do it.
Thank you, Mr. Grohl for continuing to wow us with your amazing creativity and dedication to keeping rock music alive and well.