By Phila Globe
The Foo Fighters celebrate their 25th anniversary with their 10th studio album, Medicine at Midnight. Looking back, the band has accomplished a lot. Their repertoire ranges from arena-rock double albums, to acoustic ballad tours, to album documentaries. So, what is next for the Foo’s to check off? For this record, Dave Grohl and the guys put aside the post-grunge, blaring guitar rock and give us an 80’s influenced party record.
“Shame Shame,” the first single, was met with some shade, hilariously compared to Cersei’s walk of shame. Its groove orientated with a string section and heavily focused on Dave Grohl’s falsetto, something we haven’t heard from the songster. After 25 years of doing the same old, headbanger shit, this track speaks to the band’s transcending longevity. To me, the “alternative” in alt-rock is a place holder to explore other genres simultaneously incorporating them into your own sound. Much respect to these old dogs for still having some new tricks up their sleeves.
“Making a Fire”, “Holding Poison”, and “Love Dies Young” standout as the songs that continue to bridge that gap between classic and modern rock. These tunes scream The Damned and David Bowie and have transitioned the Foo’s from a band to mosh to, to a band you can boogie to. Focus track, “Cloudspotter” also fits this mold and is perhaps the best on the album!
I am quite aware of the corn that Grohl has produced over the years. See 2014’s Sonic Highways and 2017’s Concreate and Gold. The dramatic build up that ends with Grohl, as he likes to describe – “screaming [his] balls off” – is the formula. The old heads love it, it’s cringey, but it comes with the territory. At first, “Waiting On a War” is that song. It also feels like the same tune as Foo’s tracks “New Way Home” and “But, Honestly”, however, Grohl goes on to write:
“As a child growing up in the suburbs of Washington DC, I was always afraid of war. I had nightmares of missiles in the sky and soldiers in my backyard, most likely brought upon by the political tension of the early 1980’s and my proximity to the Nation’s Capitol” – the cheesiness seems to fade when you put it in perspective. The relevance of this and the recent storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th are Grohl’s real life fears coming true. This is Grohl’s musical commentary on society today and it’s fascinating to see the Foo Fighters haven’t lost touch. This band continues to drive towards reinvention, relevance, and purposeful songwriting.