Review: Midnite City – In At The Deep End
Pride & Joy Music (June 23rd, 2023)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
Midnite City is back with their fourth album ‘In At The Deep End’. Having had the pleasure of reviewing their last album (2021’s ‘Itch You Can’t Scratch’) and rating it highly, I had grand expectations for this release. This is a band that has made its mark in the world of hard rock in just a few short years, with each release being stronger than what came before, and with this release the band shows no signs of waning.
Even though I don’t like pointless intros, I do like how the alarm in the intro segues and is incorporated into the opening track ‘Ready To Go’, a kick ass rocker that is everything you would want in an opening track. Full of vigor and panache, it sets up high expectations for what is to come.
First single ‘Someday’ has a feel-good kick off drenched in melodic swagger. It’s the little things that I get jazzed about and for me, I love the drum break at the end of the bridge that tells the listener “Get ready to sing along” just before the chorus hits. Once it does, you will be compelled to sing, or at least bob your head up and down in melody and approval.
Some other solid tracks include ‘Good Time Music’, a track written specifically with Summer in mind. You can practically feel the sunshine with this one. ‘All Fall Down’ is the perfect live track with a call and response chorus option that the band is sure to use to great effect. The version here is a good song that could have been made greater had the band gone a half-step higher in the chorus to make those background vocals pop as they inevitably will in a live setting.
The band has an effective chorus with the next track ‘Girls Gone Wild’. Vocalist Rob Wylde reaches slightly higher and makes this song one of the catchiest on the album. A terrific opening with keys and a single pounding snare that fires up the listener. The chorus key change is perfect, even though it borrows a bit from the Belinda Carlisle song ‘Heaven Is A Place On Earth’, especially in the keys and cadence. Another track that is sure to be a fan favorite and should be considered as a single.
The album has two songs that I will call “Sequels”. Ballad ‘Hardest Heart To Break’ sounds similar in tone and album placement to ‘Fire Inside’, a track off their last album. That’s not a knock on ‘Hardest Heart…’, it’s just different enough that both tracks are winners. I was blown away by ‘Fire Inside’ when I first heard it, making a similar song in the same area as the last album less fresh but equally rewarding.
The other “sequel” is the horror track. Their last album had ‘They Only Come Out at Night’ with an accompanying horror-themed video. This album has ‘Raise The Dead’. However, the tempos are much different with a higher energy level attributed to this track. The band background vocals in the verses make it slightly better than where they’re applied in the chorus. Just what the album needed as this song is placed between two ballads.
Regarding the three ballads featured, one of them is unfortunately a clunker. ‘It’s Not Me It’s You’ has some awkward lyrics that would be better suited for an angry rocker. Lines like “I wanna make you hurt, like the way you screwed me over” accompanied by a slow tempo makes the track feel like it was lost in translation. I would not be surprised if the lyrics were written with a faster tempo in mind and then reworked to fit into this musical number.
Regarding production, Chris Laney takes over for Pete Newdeck and creates the sonic equivalent of gold. His skills take what makes this band special and elevates it one step further. He knows what it takes to get the best sound from this band and his talents behind the board make him one of the best in the business.
A friend and I listened to this album while we were driving in Florida heading to the Monsters of Rock Cruise. We were driving over an aqueduct, with the sun glistening on the water, when ‘Girls Gone Wild’ started playing. My friend declared that this album is the perfect soundtrack to blast from a car while driving down to the beach. I absolutely agree. This album hits all the right buttons if you take it on the road with you. We were so fired up from the trip and the album that we were saddened that our drive was shorter than the length of the album as it proved to be the perfect soundtrack to the start of our vacation. This album shows the band on an upward trajectory, with this album overall being slightly stronger than their last release, which I rated highly. If you loved their last release, then you are going to want to pick this up as well and start the Summer season in the best possible way, driving with the windows down, the sun shining, and this album cranked to 11.
- Outbreak (Intro)
- Ready To Go
- Hardest Heart To Break
- Good Time Music
- All Fall Down
- Girls Gone Wild
- Beginning of the End
- Raise The Dead
- It’s Not Me It’s You
- Like There’s No Tomorrow
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