Written by Nick Hopton
Speaking of change, “Shame Shame” is the most dramatic change that this band has probably ever taken with their sound. The first single off the album, it took fans by surprise when it first hit the airwaves. It’s subdued, it’s deep, it’s heavy. Truly unlike anything they have put out before, especially as the first taste of music from a new album. But it works. Somehow, it feels like a natural evolution of a band that comes with age. Deviating too much will destroy your fan base, but you can’t scream and shout forever. Finding that middle ground of sound is the key to longevity, and found it they have.
Back to a more familiar sound, “Cloudspotter” immediately hooks you in with an infectious guitar riff reminiscent of “Funk #49” by The James Gang.
Complete with signature Foo‘s chorus, Grohl screams “Swing swing guillotine queen / Cut me back down to size” as if he’s just swallowed a broken pint glass. The nitty gritty. The rock and roll we’ve come to love.
“Waiting On A War” might be the most “Foo Fighters” song on the album. It has everything you’d come to expect from their long list of anthems. A rising sound that starts at the lowest valleys and reaches the highest peaks. The singalong chorus that will no doubt have entire arenas screaming it back in unison. A feel that can only be described as “biblical”. It’s the quintessential track on this outing. The one that will be the odds on bet to last the longest on setlists moving forward.
From there, we go from the most recognizable, to the most obscure. The title track “Medicine At Midnight” is described by Dave himself as their “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie. It’s a Saturday night out at the club in the 80s with a modern twist. Heavily bass driven, a loose swing. Equipped with a snarl and grit of its own, but not in the way you would typically expect, it might just be the finest track on the LP. Again, switching gears completely, comes “No Son Of Mine.” A guitar riff from the depths of a Hell that was created by Lemmy himself, thunderous drum blasting holes through the speakers, and a signature punk rock wail from King Dave easily makes this the heaviest song on MAM. They might have went down new paths of musical discovery, but they’ll be goddamned if they can’t still kick out the jams.
“Holding Poison” might as well be considered the bratty sister of “Dear Rosemary,” a track off of their 7th album, Wasting Light. It follows a similar structure, but with a bark and bite that the former was missing. It’s complex, angry, even vicious at times. Sure to be a fan favorite, expect to see this one in live setlists moving forward.
Changing gears yet again, we find ourselves “Chasing Birds.” This is the one subdued track that always appears on an FF album, a staple of the backside to calm the waters before we depart. Acoustic driven, an angelic feel. “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.” Perfect for a contemplation of life.
We end our 10th journey with the Foo‘s on “Love Dies Young,” a chug along, pop-influenced rager. Despite the title, it has quite an uplifting feel and a hopeful demeanor. It’s a perfect high note to end the album on. A sense of hope and wonder for the future. A reminder to live in the now.