Foo Fighters release “dance” album, Medicine at Midnight

Andrea Hammack

Trojan Living Editor

For the first time in four years, the Foo Fighters have finally released a new EP, Medicine at Midnight.

The EP came out on Feb 5. Dubbed their first “dance” album, I’ve been excited to see how that translates into the style they’ve built over the years. 

The EP opens with “Making A Fire,” a heavy-on-the-drums and backing vocals track. This song could easily be featured on a soundtrack to some  indie cult classic. 

Upbeat and melodic, this is a great opening song. Right at 3-minute mark in the song, everything but the backing vocals and drums cut out, and the energy between them to the end of the song is something cool. 

Next up is one of my favorite singles released prior to the rest of the album. “Shame, Shame” is a bit darker and simple musically. Though the general groove of the song is consistent throughout, I think that adds rather than takes away from the track. 

It keeps focus on the certain parts meant to be emphasized. One of my favorite points of emphasis are the small moments of whining guitar that echo the “shame, shame…” heard at 2:52. 

Some might call this simplicity “lazy” when compared to older Foo Fighters songs, but I think they found a sound perfect for a song such as this. 

“Cloudspotter” is one of the most playful songs on the record. There are so many unexpected moments on this track.

Not only does it contain super guitar-driven moments familiar to fans, but they are also used in a completely new way. The heaviness does not come until after a bout of alternating percussive beats reminiscent of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” and War’s “Low Rider.” 

Much like “Shame, Shame,” the fourth track “Waiting On A War” was not-so-loosely based on dreams singer Dave Grohl had as a kid. 

Growing up in Washington during the 1980s with tension building between the United States and the Soviet Union, Grohl felt the constant fear of looming war. The song begins with only an acoustic guitar and Grohl’s vocals saying, “I’ve been waiting on a war since I was young…”

“Waiting On A War” is one of the heavier songs on the record, but addresses something every generation can relate to. As the song goes on, it builds with each verse and chorus. 

This is probably one of the most recognizable Foo Fighters songs on the album and one that will be a nice familiar piece in the middle of other
not-so-familiar pieces. 

The next song and title track, “Medicine At Midnight” is the quintessential dance song on the album. Forget any expectations you had from the first half of the EP; this song is what the band was going for when they set out to do a dance album. This is their Bowie track. 

At first, the music is almost like Michael Jackson in its groove, but once the vocals come in, it’s heavy on the Bowie influence. With lots of bass and moments of bright guitar, this is one song I thought I’d never hear from a band like this. 

That is what makes it so intriguing — it is so bizarre hearing something like this on a Foo Fighters record, and that’s why it’s a must-listen. Only they could pull it off. 

Next is “No Son Of Mine,” which again can be seen as a more repetitive song. This tune gets us back on track after being thrown off by the last one. 

It chugs along at a steady pace and touches on the topic of “self-righteous leaders, people are guilty of committing the crimes they’re supposedly against…,” said Grohl to Rolling Stone. 

“Holding Poison” mimics some of the “chug” that was in the last song, but this time, interspersed with random clicks from a wood block in the background we heard earlier in the record. 

The song stays consistent until 3 minutes in, when a musical bridge takes us into an echoing section of “spin around, spin around.” I’d say so far, this was my least favorite track on the EP, but that doesn’t diminish much considering my favoritism toward the entire album. 

The second to last song, Chasing Birds, gives listeners a moment to rest and catch their breath. Very simple, and airy, this one reminds me of a Beatles song. 

It is a nice break from the excitement of the rest of the album and though not fast, it’s anything but boring. It was refreshing without bringing the mood down, and it is one anyone could enjoy at any time. 

Last, but certainly not least, is “Love Dies Young.” Ending the album, this song leaves us with just as much energy as the first song started us with. It reenergizes and immediately makes the thought of restarting the album an
appealing option. 

At just 37 minutes long, this album is one of the most fun albums I have listened to in a long time. I genuinely had the best time going through each song and was not disappointed by anything I heard. 

The Foo Fighters have always been one of my go-to bands to listen to when I need a pick-me-up and this album is no different. 

The fun and strong use of drums and backing vocals throughout the EP are some of my favorite features. They add a perfect amount of energy to each song, whether the song is upbeat or not. 

It might be a “dance” album, but it is, first and foremost, a Foo Fighters album down to its core and, it is one any type of fan can appreciate. 

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