Saturday, February 13, 2021

Rock Review: Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight

Score: 75/100 
Release Date: February 5, 2021
Genre: Hard Rock
Similar Artists: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Audioslave, Pearl Jam

Having risen from the ashes of grunge rock, Foo Fighters have gifted their hardcore fan base with a tenth studio release and the first since 2017’s Concrete and Gold.  With Medicine at Midnight, the band remains deeply entrenched inside a groove they’ve carved for themselves out of which it is so difficult to climb. Let’s face it, the formula pleases fans, supports the crew, appeases the record company, and further solidifies their standing in the pantheon of rock royalty.  

Make no mistake, their standing is well earned. Dave Grohl has carried the band forward through tragedy and travesty, proving that which does not kill a rock band only serves to make it stronger. Nirvana was but a starting point. Grohl seasoned that sound with flights of fancy taking it to new sonic heights. Remarkably, Foo Fighters come across as an amalgamation of the history of rock music.  There are traces of early ‘70’s Mountain and Foghat fused with ‘80s Rick James and ‘90’s Wu-Tang Clan. Alongside Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters rescued rock music from the fraudulent grasp of hair metal.

Medicine at Midnight starts with a bang and then retreats to the safety of the commonplace. 
“Making a Fire” is as fresh and intoxicating as you’ll hear from this band. Riding on a funk groove that would make Nile Rodgers sit up and take notice, “Shame Shame” is the real standout. The groove stays sharp on “Cloudspotter” while “Waiting on a War” turns back to an acoustic backbone supporting so many of their past hits. From this point on, the album takes a turn toward the typical failing to move the listener emotionally in any clear direction.  

All in all, Medicine at Midnight keeps the Foo Fighters legacy of hard-driving rockers with a hybrid sound replete with nods to their forefathers well intact.

- Tom Endyke | Guitar & Pen

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