Review Summary: Don't sleep on this.
Before starting high school, where the inevitability of the hip-hop and pop music inclinations make for a much different taste landscape throughout one’s classmates, a large portion of boys near my age had a leaning towards good old fashion rock’n’roll. For most, that consists of what we were introduced to by family and friends, or what little rock made it onto the radio during that time. It was the sheer fact that every one of those bands I heard growing up sounded so freakin’ cool
, from their drums to their vocals, that cause me to be hypnotized by their styles so readily. Yet as I grow older and start to care more about hearing new and fresh things, I’ve started to notice a distinct lack of that bravado that put the bands of youth so high up on a pedestal. The cool
factor has started to become less and less prominent in our assessment of a band’s music.
It’s this extroverted feeling that is very much lacking within the current rock landscape, and I don’t think it’s necessarily something that is entirely tangible. Going back, did those bands of our youth actually have that badass aesthetic we all thought they did" Probably not, but that’s not to say it’s not something that is capable of shining through in a band’s work (the Foo Fighters have done it for years). That’s where Midnight Spin comes in. On first listen it was apparent that the band knows exactly what they want to be, and would blare their music in your face if you disagreed with their choice. Even on this, their debut LP, they carry themselves with the swagger of genre veterans, and never once allow for their inexperience to show through into the final product and my god do they sound cool as a result.
Opener “Lion’s Run” springs to life with a lively riff and Mike Corbett’s boisterous, old school vocals, sending us hurtling forward at a frenetic pace without sacrificing melody. The band is never afraid of going hard on the frets (“Animals”), or the mic (“Phantoms”), and as a result the music has a distinct sense of “listen up!” throughout, grabbing your attention and assuring that you won’t miss anything, even if you wanted to. When they slow it down, such as on “Mission Beach” and the superb “Aeria”, each song is carried by such a tight groove that you can't help but get drawn in and attached to the track.
That’s not to say there isn’t some room for improvement. Sometimes you get a little lost within the LP, forgetting which songs are which due to a small amount of repetition in sound. It’s nothing insurmountable, and honestly for a debut it’s amazing that this is the biggest problem. On a whole, we have an outstanding first outing from a band who aren’t afraid to rock out, and are damn proud and excited about their opportunity to do so. The band is not only comfortable in their own skin, but truly seem to be enjoying themselves in the music making process. As stated in album winner “Don’t Let Me Sleep”, “Oh, but don’t let me sleep, prop me up one more time,” they’re here to play their music and have fun doing it, and they couldn’t be more confident about that decision.