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When it was learned the Foo Fighters had turned to a polished pop producer for their next album - a hit-maker for Sia, no less - you could be forgiven for fearing the band was shedding their hard-charging skin. After listening to “Concrete and Gold,’’ it’s clear that’s a bunch of fooey.

Greg Kurstin, a member of the indie-pop duo the Bird and the Bee who produced Adele’s “Hello’’ and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),’’ has actually pushed the band into some harder places over the 11 tracks.

Take the outstanding “Run,’’ which starts with smoldering chords and soft vocals before building into an apex of thrash metal with Dave Grohl impressively reaching deep into his throat.

This is thrilling, heroic rock, and even harder than the blistering, Grammy-winning single “White Limo’’ from 2011.

“Make It Right’’ finds the Foos doing their best ’70s stomping rock impersonation and it goes down well. “La Dee Da’’ is a jolt of glam rock with distorted vocals and nihilistic lyrics. With the Foos, you simply can’t get anything but full-throttle rock. It’s messy but it’s definitely not pop.


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