Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bright Midnight - Overboard

Hear The Track Here

Silly I know but I do get a kick out of seeing which of the Soundclick crowd beat a path to my review door first and this month, for the first time btw, Texas based rock band Bright Midnight were there all bright eyed and bushy tailed with their latest offering. I first noticed this band through the comments of Thomas J Marchant, who is a big fan of the band, and indeed they have musical territory in common. Both specialise in lo-fi/raucous tracks and both musicians deliver songs that are distinct and original despite musical references going back to the 1950's. Bright Midnight have a much harder, denser sound - maybe because they are a band - and they definitely do not sound English, in that charming way Thomas has.

Nope, the secret weapon in Bright Midnight's lineup are the vocal talent, which has a distinct Jim Morrison feel - generally. I say generally because Bright Midnight veer drunkenly between two distinct musical sides of the street. On the one hand they are a no-mercy, classic rock band with a marked Doors type sound (and that's probably more to do with the vocals than the music) and then they reverse and come out the other side as a proto-New Order band and Overboard falls neatly into that category. Don't let the guitar driven intro fool you, there is a lot of 1990s Manchester coming though on this track, despite what I said about the American sound. Mind you, they did the same on the last track of theirs that delved into this musical area because the other obvious reference I have used before is Morrisey, and there lies the Manchester connection.

Where the band falls down (not always but more than enough) is in either production and/or arrangement and - for my money - Overboard suffers from both. Most of the time I was listening to the track I found myself wondering where the bass had gone to, before it appeared as mysteriously as it appeared. I know that the musical side of this requires that fretless bass, loads-of-high-notes style but this is taken way too far in this track. Consequently, there are holes in the sound that detract hugely from the impact it could have had. Yet again, the underlying song shines through enough to make me say that while this may be listenable to most people who, lets face it, would probably never notice, but a rethink of this could being out a real outstanding track IMO...

Recommended Alternative nonetheless.

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