With 25 years behind them and becoming synonymous with stadium-filling records, Foo Fighters take a different route on ‘Medicine At Midnight’.
Whilst every album has always displayed the various influences of group, with their tenth full-length, groove-based leads and textured tracks take centre stage over thundering drums and chunky riffs.
Opening stacked vocals and a jittery energy on ‘Making A Fire’, less commanding Dave Grohl leads his vocals towards an open chorus. Taking cues from early 70s rock ‘n’ roll, a looser feel to the track helps elevate the main hook. Following up with lead single ‘Shame, Shame’, the sextet continue to delve deeper into grooving bass lines and layered vocal harmonies to create a slow burning yet compelling listen.
Continuing to add elements of disco, funk, and forays into string led acoustics during the mid point of the record, ‘Medicine At Midnight’ straddles the line between injecting new elements into their sound and retaining their identity. It’s a large task considering how well known the Foo Fighters are at this point in their career, and tracks such as ‘Waiting On A War’ pull off the sonic deviations with a tense full band climax alongside the funk driven ‘Cloudspotter’ helping to push the record forward.
Closing their diverse mid-point with the thrashing ‘No Son Of Mine’, thick distortion and roaring vocals bring the group back towards their heavier sound without sounding too forced, a quality that runs throughout the album. The same can also be said with ‘Chasing Birds’, as they deliver a soft ballad that hinges on nuance as opposed to huge choruses and driving guitars.
Concluding with snappy ‘Love Dies Young’, the hallmarks of the group’s sound are revisited, bringing thick guitars, bouncing choruses, and pounding drums to close the record with a burst of riffs and sing-along hooks.
An unexpected turn, one that radiates energy and showcases how well oiled a machine the Foo Fighters are, ‘Medicine At Midnight’ may not bring new fans to the table, but it will sit comfortably alongside their storied back-catalogue.