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Friday, 22 March 2013

Midnight High - E.P. Review

I'm gonna keep reviewing these releases as they come out, not because I think anyone values my opinion, but because I don't want them to disappear into the ether, especially not this one.

When Rob first started the Long Haired Music label, I went to the lengths of calling Rob in the street and putting him on the phone to Jace saying 'These are the guys you NEED to record'. Months later, the record came out, literally days after the band broke up. Pretty bad timing, but it was a brilliant swan song.

If you don't know the band get them up on iTunes preview now. You need to hear this.

The E.P. opens up with the rock solid drums groove of 'You Said'. Straight in with massive guitar riff and a chorus of three part harmonies. Classic MH, though it isn't really until the second track however that you really see what the band are about.

'Home' is quite simply brilliant. Lyrically, tonally, emotionally, this is the record that justifies the whole existence of the band. Even if we're not going to see one of those spectacular live shows again, at least we can play this track and remember everything that the band was about. The song grows, evolves and develops taking us through about seven different themes and sections and embodies the hopelessness and disparity of a collapsing band. Perhaps.

Straight from that into fast guitar licks and razor sharp lyrics for 'Fall on the Floor'. It goes back to the tasty outlaw appeal of their previous release, but with the production quality to make it very crank-able. I'm glad this song's on the release because it heralds back to a point where the band were more motivated and less nihilistic. Or maybe that's just my psyche re-writing history.

'So Far' feels like Home's little sister. Fear of age and lack of destination seem to run through both songs. The lyrics speak for themselves - witty, intelligent, cutting. The first rate musicianship is a theme running through the record.

The final track, 'Spanish Eyes', tonally is incredibly strong. It returns back to the ballsy outlandish stick-it-to-the-man-ism that gives the band their appeal. I think it will disappoint some fans to hear the band slowed down and deflated slightly in this respect for the deeper, but far stronger numbers on this release, but they're brought back up with this finale. Lovely touches like the three part 'Fucking Around' harmony, and the 'trap of nickels and dimes' which is something I can relate to a hell of a lot.

The only thing that makes this E.P. massively disappointing is that it ends so soon. I know the band has more songs, and their first E.P. had equally brilliant tunes on it,.and allegedly you can mix the two up to make a great album.

I think a lot of people seriously mourn the loss of this band. Jesus, I do. I'm told by Jace that they're working  on a new project that sounds too different to be Midnight High, and I hope this to be true. Still, I feel like they killed something beautiful. It was like witnessing a meltdown when they bailed on their tour commitments and became impossible to contact.

Maybe MH have grown up. Maybe being the outlaws that said 'fuck you' to everyone just got tiring and alienating. I get the impression that maybe they said 'fuck you' to the people trying to help them. I think though in the world we live in we need someone to carry the flag of 'fuck you' and say the things we don't have the balls to say. To find the roads to explain the emptiness we feel with our five figure salaries and loving partners (lol - like I have a five figure salary!), to go out and get high and drink and screw and travel on our behalf, so that we know that in this flat-pack Ikea safety-goggled world there's still some adventure to be had. Well, these guys have done their turn. If you want the party to go on, you're going to have to get up off your computer, find guitar, some whiskey & a dealer and start fucking your own shit up. Take up the mantle, we'll be waiting.

'I'm a free spirit, you're never gonna trap me'
Midnight High
2010 - 2013

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