“Medicine at Midnight”: Rock Legends Foo Fighters Deliver Upbeat New Album

“Medicine at Midnight”: Rock Legends Foo Fighters Deliver Upbeat New Album

Article by Quinton Kern

Positivity is in high demand right now, and legendary rock band Foo Fighters is prepared to give us plenty. For those unfamiliar, Foo Fighters is a rock band that was originally a solo project of Dave Grohl, the original drummer for Nirvana. Since 1994, they’ve delivered a signature post-grunge sound that has cemented them as heroes of rock and roll, with Dave Grohl going from drummer to frontman and lead guitarist. After ending the 2018 tour for their 9th studio album, “Concrete and Gold”, fans knew they wouldn’t be waiting too long for some new material. The band wanted a short break, but Dave Grohl had already said he had ideas for a new album. Less than a year later, drummer Taylor Hawkins reported that Grohl was already demoing new songs by himself. Six months later, the album was ready but was delayed because of Covid-19. While the band had originally decided to wait until the pandemic was mostly over to release the album, it continued longer than they thought, and they decided that it should be released to give people something positive to look forward to. And on February 5th, 2021, “Medicine at Midnight” went live.

The album contains an almost even mix of upbeat and mellow songs, each one putting the bands’ strengths on display. Starting with “Making A Fire”, a more pop-oriented sound is immediately clear. Groovy riffs and Grohl’s signature gruff singing voice are still there, but the beat and backing vocals give it a peppy feel, especially the “nah-nahs” that accompany the main riff. The next song, “Shame Shame”, cools things off with an infectious drum track and sharp, quiet guitar that goes well with softer, higher-pitched vocals from Grohl. The inclusion of some string instruments in the chorus gives it a slightly melancholy edge, coupled with hope and longing in Grohl’s voice. It makes for a great cathartic jam when quarantine blues are hitting too hard, and you need that glimmer of hope. The mood is brought back up with “Cloudspotter” a catchy tune with an even catchier chorus that I can’t help but sing along to. It’s admittedly a little generic, especially in its instrumentation, but I find myself throwing it on when I cook or clean for the movement it seems to naturally inspire. Continuing with the up-and-down rollercoaster trend, “Waiting on a War” starts with soulful lyrics from Grohl and a simple acoustic guitar riff. Much like “Cloudspotter”, it has a mildly melancholic tone accompanied by quietly hopeful singing, but towards the end, it picks up into an up-tempo, anthemic jam that made it my top pick from this album. The title track, “Medicine at Midnight”, wears its David Bowie influence on its sleeve, but otherwise doesn’t offer much that isn’t already on this album. The band brings back some of their older post-grunge style with “No Son of Mine”, the first single released for this album. That older style is infused with a bit of psychobilly influence and a riff inspired by Motorhead’s old-fashioned heavy metal, with a lively solo and a driving finish to boot. Rather than returning to a more mellow song, “Holding Poison” remains upbeat with a sharp rhythm that becomes gloriously fluid for the bridge and chorus. “Chasing Birds” is by far the most mellow song on the album, but also puts a welcome focus on Grohl’s vocal talents. The closer, “Love Dies Young”, is surprisingly energetic despite its title, but the driving guitar strumming doesn’t save this final track from falling a bit flat.

Foo Fighters’ most recent effort has provided plenty of jams to accompany us into the rest of 2021 and, while the album admittedly doesn’t do much to evolve or exemplify the band’s usual style, I know I’ll be jamming along to it often in the coming months. It may not be revolutionary, but its feeling of good-spirited, defiant hope is what we all could use more of right now.

Foo Fighters Website: https://www.foofighters.com/


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