We know we usually focus on new artists, however, exceptions are here to happen, for music's sake! Because the great music references are also innovating and are a constantly inspiration to (and take inspiration from) new acts. That's why in New Week New Album we are also creating a space for reviewing new albuns from well established artists and bands. And that leads us to the newest Foo Fighters' LP Medicine at Midnight.
Today we present to you an irreverent, unique band that is taking its first steps in the world of Rock. Oh, no, wait. Today is rock day. The heavy one, the light one: that timeless one that, the years go by, but the geniality is still there. Dave Grohl is here since always, but we must not forget Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett on Guitar, Taylor Hawkins with its drum sticks since very young, Nate Mendel with four strings on his wing and, from the most recent pupils, Rami Jaffee with a keyboard to play an endless time.
It’s the Foo Fighters, of course. And after four years without any groundbreaking news, they break into our eardrums with their tenth record. Yes, tenth record. Almost thirty years after the release of Foo Fighters (1995), Medicine at Midnight is an album that applies the right formula at the right time. Because we all need a little bit of medicine at the moment, whether it’s the pandemic, the lack of friendship, the contact we want, and we can’t have. But the Kings of Rock have come here to save us all from these times. And they have pills to take and to give. Because we all need this kind of dose.
Foo Fighters have always been a mix of emotions for me. And that mix of emotions brought me, at the time, to the conversation with my first great love. Have you seen this? Rock has brought two souls together. But, like all great passions, they end and are not to be moved anymore. The rock, on the other hand, continues as a true Fighter that it is.
What a desire of size of the world to see Dave Grohl and his companions on stage again. It’s an electrifying concert, necessary for any live music lover. This photo was taken by one of us at a concert some time ago at the NOS ALIVE 2011 festival. The audience in unison, the moche almost taking the teeth of the colleague right around us, the sweat of so much emotion. If you can stand a concert of the band in the front rows, consider yourselves real…Fighters.
To start with, there are 9 pills, to be taken in an average of 4 minutes each.
We started with Making a Fire, and, soon, attacking our feelings for the band: a classic moment in the making. If I was told that I was reviewing a bit of the band’s career, this would be one of the first songs I would put on that podium: it has rock, it has lyrics, it has an angelic chorus, and it’s a good mesh. I dare say there’s something from The Beatles in the middle of it, but, this… we didn’t tell you that.
Shame Shame, the second track on the album and the first single on the album, is proof that it doesn’t take a lot of fireworks, not too many people on stage, not too many screams, long raw riffs, to get a message across. We have guitars, drums, and a few more simple touches and, the rest, well, the rest is the voice of Dave Grohl to give us a message, as if it were a prayer. We are complete believers, as you can see.
Cloudspotter throws us to a more groovy version of Fighters. It seems that this dose is generational, and definitely wants to extend its horizons to the younger ones. One more pearl and we are not even in the middle of the dose we’ll go. A good sign leads us to believe.
Waiting on a War, the third single on the record, is described entirely in an interview given by Dave Grohl to Billboard’s Gil Kaufman: Dave Grohl: “Last fall, as I was driving my daughter to school, she turned to me and asked, ‘Daddy, is there going to be a war?’ My heart sank as I realized that she was now living under the same dark cloud that I had felt 40 years ago. Every day waiting for the sky to fall. Is there more to this than that? Is there more to this than just waiting on a war? Because I need more. We all do. This song was written for my daughter, Harper, who deserves a future, just as every child does.”
And it is something that we all think about all the time today. Whether for COVID-19 or for a more physical war, as we have had in the past. No, that is not what we want. We want Rock. A rock war, that is.
Medicine at Midnight, the music that entitles the record, throws us back into a world of danceable rock that suddenly reminds us of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. That intro is worthy of a hall of fame. But it’s Foo, we couldn’t expect anything else, right?
In Son of Mine, the album’s first single, and ‘Holding Poison’, the band takes us to worlds where Foo are Kings and Lords: rock in its purest state, to make the most important references in this industry blush.
Chasing Birds takes the Foo to slow down the audience again, as they do so well. The track talks about living in a state where you feel you are not doing good things, or not going the right way, but can’t resist it, can’t stop doing it again and again. The strong lyrics (“Here comes another heart attack. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Dark inventions of mine. The road to hell is paved with broken parts. Bleeding hearts like mine“) contrast with the calm sonority in the track, giving us a superb contradiction and several distinct experiences when listening to it.
They close the album with a golden key, entitled Love Dies Young. A mix of emotions with a chewing-gum included, that takes Rock to a ‘cutie-pie’ level.
The prescription is already given, and Dr. Grohl indicates that it is time for everyone to start taking it. Shall you too?