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Tunes with Tate: My family’s rating of the Foo Fighters' 'Medicine At Midnight'

When it comes to the Foo Fighters, there’s almost too much to say. With 12 Grammys and 10 albums in 26 years, the band is a force to be reckoned with. 

After the tragic passing of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana disbanded, leading drummer Dave Grohl to write his own music. He did so under the name “Foo Fighters” in an attempt to convince listeners the songs were created by an entire band. It fits and aligns with the actual definition of a foo fighter: a World War II term for an unidentified, flying mystery object seen by U.S. pilots. 

Grohl recruited bassist Nate Mendel, Nirvana tour guitarist Pat Smear and drummer William Goldsmith before the group’s self-titled debut album was released July 4, 1995. However, Grohl was listed as the only official member. Right off the bat, it was nominated at the 1996 Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Performance, and its success went uphill from there. It currently holds the record for the most wins in the Best Rock Album Grammy category with four in total and has secured various wins at other award shows, such as the MTV VMAs and Billboard Music Awards.

As is the case with almost any band, breakup rumors are inevitable. Sometimes, they end up being true, but the Foo Fighters has remained intact throughout many periods of time where the main thing people were saying about the group was whether or not they thought the rumors held any weight. They have had some legitimate struggles. 

One instance in particular was during the recording of its fourth album, One by One. The whole band was feeling extremely frustrated because the recordings weren’t sounding the way it wanted. It eventually came together and was a successful album, but that didn’t stop the rumors from returning when it went on a hiatus in both 2011 and 2015. The Foo Fighters took the latter in stride and humor by releasing a “mockumentary” video in 2016 showing Grohl leaving the band to become a solo artist and dappling in EDM but ending with the iconic line, “For the millionth time, we’re not breaking up. And nobody’s going f------ solo!” It’s admirable it’s managed to push through difficulties and work together to prove time and time again that it’s sticking around for a little while more. 

Wherever you stand with politics, you have to admit it’s brave for celebrities to put their views on display. It puts their careers at risk, and they stand to lose parts of their fan bases. While that has become a more common occurrence within the past few years, the Foo Fighters has been doing so since 2004. Upon learning that George W. Bush was using the band’s song “Times Like These” in his presidential campaign, Dave Grohl started playing at rallies for Bush’s opponent, John Kerry. While most of these performances only included Grohl, the whole band played in Arizona prior to a presidential debate. At the time, Grohl said, “There’s no way of stopping the president playing your songs, so I went out and played it for John Kerry’s people instead, where I thought the message would kinda make more sense.” 

In 2011, the band performed in front of Westboro Baptist Church protestors in Kansas City in an effort to mock their anti-LGBTQ+ views. A few years later in 2015, the band “Rickrolled more Westboro protestors by driving by in a pickup truck and playing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” so loud that it drowned out the protestors’ hateful yelling.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release of the Foo Fighters’ highly anticipated 10th album, Medicine At Midnight, was delayed until Feb. 5. Thankfully, singles “No Son of Mine,” “Waiting on a War,” “Shame Shame” and a performance at the Jan. 20 Presidential Inauguration held fans over while they patiently waited. The Foo Fighters has also announced the Medicine At Midnight Radio series through a partnership with Apple Music. The six-part project is available for listening on Apple Music Hits and the limited time Foo Fighters radio station on Sirius XM. 

As the world works its way through the pandemic, it’s unclear if a Foo Fighters tour will be a possibility in the near future. But as music helps us get through it all, here’s what my family thought when this new album finally made it to their ears:

Mom: I love how the Foo Fighters are steeped in grunge but have evolved to creating music that is relevant today. One of my new favorites. Nine out of 10!

Dad: The Foo Fighters have not disappointed. Straight from my favorite genre, so I had very high hopes for this release. Once again, the energy comes through, and Grohl belts out some awesomeness. This album rocks, even though it may have a slightly more pop sound than its sub-Pop roots. 9.1 out of 10. Can’t turn it off. 

Brother: Pretty good. It was worthy of a dance party. Helped me fix my brain. 8.5 out of 10. 

Considering my parents listened to the Foo Fighters while they were Ohio University students, I knew they would be excited about this week’s listening material, and I’m far from surprised that these are some of their highest ratings yet. My brother also enjoys some good ’90s alternative rock, so his review was expected as well. I’ve only previously heard bits and pieces of the Foo Fighters’ albums, but I have to say I agree with my family’s opinions. It has more chill moments, such as “Shame Shame” and “Waiting On A War,” without taking away the essential rock ‘n’ roll feeling you expect when listening to the Foo Fighters and will definitely be added to some playlists. I’m sure I’ll be listening to this album again and eventually work my way through the rest of the band’s discography.

Tate Raub is a freshman studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Tate? Tweet her @tatertot1310.

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