Label: RCA / Roswell
Released: 5th February 2021
There once was a point, Dear Reader, where we’d have described Foo Fighters as genuinely exciting.
That’s not to be deliberately mean about the band in their current, twenty-five-year deep iteration, but rather to suggest that time changes us all. What once was thrilling, cutting against the grain with a violent thrust, eventually becomes the establishment. In 2021, Foo Fighters are more The Man to rally against than the rebel forces outside the gates.
That’s the problem which has plagued so much of their recent offerings. Dave Grohl and co are so obviously great at what they do, but what they do now feels so achingly predictable it seems stuck in a different era. As rock‘n’roll spirit becomes less defined by riffs and distortion, and more about a youthful attitude and raw, brightly drawn aesthetics, the whisky-soaked bombast of denim-clad middle-aged men feels progressively less dangerous and increasingly passé.
While Rock’s Nicest Dad Ever may still be undoubtedly one of its most iconic faces – a musician of fearsome reputation and undoubted talent – ‘Medicine at Midnight’ is a record that, even with the best intentions, would offer up nothing to a career highlight reel. Though at times they push their own tightly drawn boundaries, that experimentation feels so far from the horizons others inhabit they only emphasise what Foo Fighters have become: a classic band, for fans of the good old days. There’s nothing wrong with that, but perhaps it’s time for someone new to sit upon rock’s throne.