But this is no problem at all because, like Weezer with OK Human, this does indeed have a sense of nostalgia to it, but it’s more in line with the great American radio-rock of the ‘70s and ‘80s, and the works of people like Peter Frampton and The Eagles, than you might have been expecting. On opener Making A Fire, there’s a groove like Aerosmith, while Shame Shame has a loose, jammed feel, built around a finger-clicking beat that swells into a slowly rising chorus. The title-track almost sounds like something that could have been on David Bowie’s The Next Day comeback, understated, but sharp as a razor, while Chasing Birds is entirely laid-back, strummy cool. The power of Waiting On A War, meanwhile, comes from its strings, rather than volume, even at the end, when they deliver the most striking part of its final crescendo.
On No Son Of Mine and Holding Poison, the tempo does pick up, and Dave does some shouting on Cloudspotter, but things never topple into anything that’ll give you beer hair. But what this album is, it isn’t really about those moments. Instead, it’s an exhibition of just what a simply, fundamentally good band Foo Fighters are, and how skilled with a tune and a melody Dave Grohl is. You couldn’t call it stripped back as such, but its less hectic nature throws things into slightly sharper focus.
The plan may have been iced, and nobody actually knows when anything will kick off again, but that takes nothing away from things here. Rather than ruing the fact that we won’t get to hear these songs live for a long time yet, we’re instead gifted the opportunity to live with them and feel some of their joy right now . And, as Dave Grohl himself agrees, that’s something worth putting out there.
For fans of: Biffy Clyro, Bob Mould, Weezer
Medicine At Midnight is released on February 5 via Roswell Records/Columbia Records.