And on a wave of Victory they are back. The Foo Fighters have been holding out on us. There should have been singles and an album back in the summer. Just like James Bond, Dune and a bunch of other Blockbuster cultural landmarks planned for the year, the accountants at the Ultramega Media conglomerates decided to wait until we could spend our pennies to their plans. They wanted the sales figures, the box office receipts, the records to show. They were the biggest. The best. The money flowed in one direction. Art is business and we can’t have 2020’s Foo Fighters album until February next year.
Well AC/DC lead the charge as far as I can see. The first global superband to not only make a new record in lockdown, but they forced it through. Jammed it past the Penfolds and Poindexters in marketing and accounts strategising when and what to do. They had rock music, the clock was ticking, get it out there.
So somebody in the Foo Fighters fortress has finally thrown the fans a bone. Shame Shame. That’s the song name not the review. Shame Shame. It’s widely accepted by rock and roll archaeologists this is the middle part of a trilogy that began in the 80’s with Shame by Eurythmics and was concluded in 1975 with Shame Shame Shame by Shirley & Company.
Shame Shame has the same deep in the studio vibe the band really wrapped their Concrete and Gold era in. This one is almost entirely lacking in big rock guitar. It’s completely bereft of riffage or screaming. There’s a two note bass lick, interesting percussive diversions and layers of warm synth. While Dave coos and oohs up to a peak that is layered with the most recognisably Fooey part of the whole song. The Woah Ohhs harmonizing are the moment this clicks.
This could be a side one, track one big intro build up for a belter of a track two. That’d be an interesting way to open a Foo Fighters album. From Doll to In Your Honour to T-Shirt, they have previous in that area for sure. It could be hidden away nine songs deep on the album. A deliberate curve ball. How representative Shame Shame is of Medicine At Midnight we will have to wait a quarter of a year longer to learn. Out in the wild fending for itself as a Foo Fighters single alone, Shame Shame is a curious beast.
I like it, even though it is undoubtedly a weird choice. I’d say it has more in common with semi recent charity curio Soldier than any other single they’ve ever released. People often underestimate this bands complexity. Shame Shame may well do some good on that front.
When Pearl Jam teased Gigaton with Dance Of The Clairvoyants there were worries that they’d gone on a deep Talking Heads jag and made a middle aged white boy funk album. They hadn’t, it was classic mischief. Foo Fighters maybe playing a similar trick by pretending to be a type of Tom Tom Club (drummer joke!) for a little bit before the guitars are plugged back in.
I’m writing this with the track on a loop and it works like that. As a mood piece it pulls you in, a hip pumped bass and percussion driven crunk. Dave tries his hand a being Beck a couple of minutes in. It works. The Woah Ohh’s definitely help.
“I’ll be the one, be the moon, be the sun, be the rain in you song, go and put that record on”
Go and put that record on? That’s easy for you to say from high up behind the battlements of Foo Fighters Fortress. You have the damned thing. As for us Serfs? We’re eagerly awaiting the next release.