LA/So cal does have a very produced sound...Look at the more current Bakersfield Country (Smokin Armadillos, etc) vs the older Bakersfield sound of Buck Ownes and Red Simpson (or heck Buck in the 1960s vs Buck in the 1990s...easy to hear the production even though that is Bakersfield where the recording industry is very influenced by LA these days).
My friend came back with her recording and it sounded detached...like you could hear the noise gate working on the voice (like the attack and release), the guitar sound nice and chimy (which is what she goes for) but they added in synth chimes and direct in organ...which sounded so detached to the whole mix...like you could hear what was played live to what sounded like a backing tape (and it wasn't). I told her I could do better with a pair of overhead condenser mics...you know, I'm not in the industry though haha (and just a shit noise guitar player).
Studios here, well maybe not all but all the ones I have dealt with, refuse to leave drum sounds in and replace them with samples. It's always been more about the gear...my friends band got recorded and the dude took out all the drum sounds, replaced them with samples, then ran it through a compressor 4 or 5 different times "to give it that analog sound". I was pissed watching it (not because the compressor, but because he ran it through what a book or something said "metal" should go through. More about automation than engagement. Years later that recording still pisses everyone off (they paid all their money, like 1k and dude kept the masters...)
I don't know where Foo Fighters record, but I think their mixing is really bad and sound "LA" to me (dead, loud, and lacking dynamic).
I can respect a good live mix...There is a lot more to it than you are giving yourself credit for. Mic placement/choices, mixing sounds without extra takes, rolling with the punches, etc. I always prefer stuff recorded that way when done right. It is a really good job considering the situation. It is really good man! I showed my wife (a big new order fan) and she instantly loved it. She is very critical of recording quality too (loves st vincent and empire of the sun, can't really stand their albums because of the bad mix/recording...empire of the sun sounds like it was made in a DAW from synths to everything with jsut some added vocals)
Live mixing at venues is even worse here...they mix everything like hip hop or techno/dubstep. During Buzzcocks (goldenvoice venue), the roadie came out, kicked the kids at the console out, and remixed the show it was so bad. Kids were pissed...but they mixed the buzzcocks with all bass drum, no vocals, no guitar, and so loud it was distorting everytime the drums hit...just bad (same with Melt Banana but no one saved them).
Where can I cash my e-cred? What's my balance?