This one caught me by surprise, flicking through the “out today” albums yesterday. It’s one of those “how could I have missed this?” moments, from the Steel Panther-introduced video to the comic-based artwork to the bubblegum rock bounce of the music itself. There’s a wealth of influences throughout, with Ross picking up The Wildhearts whereas I heard definite Terrorvision overtones. Whichever one you go for, it’s been blended with a heavy dollop of 60’s surf rock and it’s bloody wonderful.
We featured The Middlenight Men as Band of the Day some months ago, where founder Nick Hughes tackled our usual questions. The band is the result of several side-projects conjoining and the net result is just so much damn fun. After enjoying a couple of samples of their sound back in July, I was hugely impressed to listen to Issue 1 right through and find that the infectious grooves and catchy riffs are present in every single song.
Basically, shove it on and listen to “Rat Star”. If this doesn’t have you shaking your head and air guitaring before it even reaches the damn chorus then you need to check your pulse – you don’t have one. “BA Baby”, the video for which has been out for some time, has fast-fired vocals which owe more than a little to Terrorvision’s Tony Wright. No complaints. If you’re going to pinch from a chart-friendly please-everyone rock band then pinch from the best.
“Heroine Heights” has a great video which you can check out below and riffs hugely on classic rock n’ roll and the likes of Status Quo (and the classic Spider-Man TV theme), while taking us on a tour of the Marvel/DC universe.
The whole thing is non-stop, from quality mainstream rock like “We All Need Help Before Tomorrow” to chuggy near-ballads that just beg to be sung along to like “Budapest Brawler”, and the real ballad on the album, “ExtroIntro”.
There are two bonus tracks which I think are on the CD version, too. “The Story of Three” (balls out rock) and “Everybody’s Been Broken Hearted” (power ballad) between themselves show two different sides of the band and work really well as extras. They’re definitely good enough to have made the regular release, not just spare material that’s been used as bonus filler. Oh, and slight spoiler… keep listening once “Broken Hearted” is finished!
Only February and I’ve got an album that I know will feature on my “albums of the year” list in December. Not one to take seriously, just put it on and rock out like it’s the 60’s. Maybe 70’s. Bit of the 80’s.