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Midnite City - 2017 Midnite City

ARTIST: Midnite City
ALBUM: Midnite City
YEAR: 2017


LINEUP: Rob Wylde - vocals, guitars * Miles Meakin - guitars * Shawn Charvette - keyboards * Josh Williams - bass * Pete Newdeck - drums

TRACK LISTING:? 01 We Belong * 02 Ghosts Of My Old Friends * 03 Summer Of Our Lives * 04 Nothing's Like Losing You * 05 Last Beat Of My Heart * 06 Everything You Meant To Me * 07 Can't Wait For The Nights * 08 One Step Away * 09 I Just Can't Take It * 10 Things She Said * 11 Think About You



Many of us have what we consider a 'desert island' list of favorite albums. Depending on how long my list is, you'd find albums from Nelson, Vixen, Nelson, Danger Danger, Marcello Vestry, and White Widdow. So anything that has that sound will draw at least a passing interest by me. I have to admit that I was not familiar with Rob Wylde before this album. He is in Tigertailz and was in Teenage Casket Company, but they've flown under my radar. I'm slightly more familiar with Pete Newdeck, as he was on a fine one-off (unfortunately) album by In Faith and another one by Blood Red Saints. Wylde had written some songs and got Newdeck to help record them, and then shopped them to the various labels. AOR Heaven signed them, they filled out the band, and here we go with their debut album.

The Songs
Opener 'We Belong' opens with what just happens to be my favorite power chord progression, so I'm immediately hooked. I actually hear a sound reminiscent of Dokken's 'Breaking The Chains' in this song, but this is way more polished, and it has keyboards. Wylde has the perfect vocals for this style, and Meakin knows how to spin a solo that combines the right amount of melody and technique. This pretty much sets the stage for everything to come. The opening guitar riff for 'Ghosts Of My Old Friends' starts like it could have come from one of the first two H.E.A.T albums before settling into something that would have fit nicely on that debut Nelson album. I turned 50 last year, and my two sons have graduated from high school in the past three years, so I'm in tune with the sentiments of this song on two levels. You've probably seen the video for 'Summer Of Our Lives', which is not as much about the season as it is lyrically the 'before' to the previous song's 'after' viewpoint of life (as I feel like I'm in the early autumn of my life). Nice video of what I believe is a beach in Cleveland by a horny bastard of a cameraman. After three uptempo songs, the standard formula calls for something a bit slower, and they come up with a real corker in 'Nothing's Like Losing You', one that starts off kinda mellow before hitting a great groove. This one contains a whopping four key changes in its duration. (What key is it in? Most of them.) In fact, there are no consecutive songs on the entire album in the same key, and that definitely helps separate the songs in your ears as they keep coming at you.

If you made me choose a favorite song from this album, I'd really struggle, but I might very well choose the urgent 'Last Beat Of My Heart'. If you could put 'Everything You Meant To Me' into a time machine and send it back to the latter half of the 80's, it would wind up on one of those greatest power ballads of the 80's albums. Pure class, done as well as anyone. As they say, the hits keep on coming with the party anthem 'Can't Wait For The Nights'. A lot of albums start losing steam at this point, but I must say these guys put a lot of care into the order of the tracks in order to keep that from happening. 'One Step Away' has been compared to the kind of song that Rick Springfield would do. I think it's probably more modern in sound, whatever modern means, but a little ahead of the late 80's sound. The line 'only one step away, from risking it all in the arms of a stranger' makes me think of the excellent 'Arms Of A Stranger' from the great Signal album. The quality does not let up with the upbeat 'I Just Can't Take It'. Damn, these guys can't write a bad song. 'Things She Said' slows the tempo but not the quality. Ten for ten so far. By this point you may feel like a baseball pitcher one inning away from a no-hitter, or a bowler one frame away from a perfect game. Fortunately, they came through in the clutch and deliver with the excellent 'Think About You', the perfect song from this album to close it out.

In Summary
If you're looking for a fun feel-good album full of catchy commercial tunes, it'll be hard to find one that's any better than this. They absolutely nail the sound and spirit of the mid-80's onward, and this album plays like a greatest hits of that timeframe. There's nary a song on here that's less than great, and nothing slows the momentum at any point. I realize that my lofty rating is a product of my love for this musical style. I'm sure there are those among you who think I'm overrating this album, probably for these reasons: too safe, too predictable, not much variety in song subject matter (they're all either 'relationship' or 'friends/party' songs), not tough or edgy, not anything that hasn't been done before. I can understand these thoughts, but I'm going on the fact that I just can't stop playing this album and it's standing up to all the top albums I've had for years. And I can 'drop the needle' anywhere and not feel the need to skip anything, and each of these songs has become an earworm at some point the past three weeks. If the artists I mentioned at the top of this article are among your favorites, then I highly recommend getting a hold of this one.

Midnite City - 2017 Summer Of Our Lives

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#1 | gdazegod on November 20 2017 09:23:13
Yeah, I quite liked this, but probably not the 10 rating that Jeff gives it. I hear the British glam sound in there, which for me, probably docks it a point and a bit.
#2 | gdazegod on November 20 2017 09:51:09
No, I'm changing my mind here. It's getting better as I'm listening to it. I'm hearing all sorts of comparisons, including some of the guitar work a la Rob Marcello (Danger Danger, Marcello Vestry). I haven't given it a rating yet, maybe toward the end of the week. Good read Jeff, thanks, and don't worry about others opinions, you're safe here, and you back your article with good justification. Now it's a race to see who writes up Kivel Records new signing Romeo Riot! Thumbs Up

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