It’s hard to believe that the Foo Fighters, a band that started as a Dave Grohl solo recording project, have been around for a quarter century. On February 5, the band, now a full-blown rock institution, releases its tenth album, Medicine at Midnight. Here’s what you need to know.
The Band Embraces Pop…
While fist-pumping rock anthems are the Foo Fighters’ bread and butter, the new record finds them leaning more toward radio-friendly pop. Their new songs wouldn’t sound out of place on a playlist sandwiched between Taylor Swift and BTS.
…Thanks to Their Producer
Medicine at Midnight’s pop sheen is largely due to the work of producer Greg Kurstin. This is Kurstin’s second time working with the band. He has previously produced for Adele, Sia, and Katy Perry. Under Kurstin’s guidance, Foo Fighters songs like “Cloudspotter” become downright danceable.
Things Get Political
As a veteran of the DC hard-core scene, Grohl is no stranger to politics, but the Foo Fighters have long seemed to appeal to fans on both sides of the aisle. On this latest effort, the band strikes more partisan chords, especially on “No Son of Mine,” a song that’s practically a sequel to Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son.”
On half the album, Grohl’s 14-year-old daughter, Violet, contributes background vocals, most notably on “Making a Fire,” which has a “na na na na” refrain that rivals Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.”
There’s a Secret Weapon
Legendary 61-year-old percussionist Omar Hakim, who has previously contributed to albums by David Bowie and Miles Davis, plays on six tracks. His equally quirky and funky rhythms elevate songs like “Shame Shame” and “Medicine at Midnight.”
Grohl & Co. Rep L.A.
Even though Grohl first made his mark in Seattle with Nirvana, he has called Southern California home for nearly two decades. In 2018, he barbecued for firefighters battling the Woolsey Fire, and he recently collaborated on a specialty taco with beloved Sherman Oaks restaurant Casa Vega to boost business during the pandemic. The album’s liner notes state that it was recorded in Encino. Meanwhile, guitarist Pat Smear was a member of legendary L.A. punk band the Germs, and drummer Taylor Hawkins hails from Laguna Beach. The guys wear their SoCal stripes proudly.