Discussion question: Are the Foo Fighters cool now? It's a thought experiment that implicates several other questions. Would that mean Frank Black is cool? Dinosaur Jr.? The web keeps getting stickier, almost as if questions of coolness were a gross trap. It's good to clear your mind of such hypotheticals before you listen to the Chicago-based All Eyes West, whose self-titled debut offers us a sort of alternate-universe chance to discover the Foo Fighters without connecting them to Nirvana.
It's Justin Miller's voice that does it. He has that heartfelt rasp, and the resemblance is augmented by muted verses stitched to anthemic choruses with swingy bridges. If you are between the ages of 20 and 40, you cannot hear this well-constructed pop rock without thinking of Dave Grohl's big hand. How you listen to it therefore depends on how you feel about 1997. People who never liked Foo Fighters will not like All Eyes West; fans of The Colour and the Shape will. If you secretly liked "Everlong" but could not support a sequel band, you should go to Zoo City Apparel and watch All Eyes West make it fresh. I, for one, am grateful for the second chance.
All Eyes West plays Zoo City Apparel Mon., Aug. 6, at 8 PM. $5.