Crash Midnight - Lost In The CityIn a time when you hear from everybody and their mother that the days of releasing records are gone, that the CD is dead and that you can’t have music as a living anymore – especially ageing musicians who were at the top of their game back when are really quick to pass comments like that – it really makes me happy every time I see or hear a new band that rides with notions from the record-buying ages, young kids that do want to release records and try to make a living doing so. It’s also really nice when you get an offer to review a new band’s record and of course, there’s no reason at all to not jump on the chance, hoping that the album is really great so I don’t have to bring out the chainsaw on said band. Crash Midnight are such a band. I know that most of you out there might not have heard about this band – I hadn’t either before I got the e-mail – so here’s a little introduction to the band. Crash Midnight are five young dudes from Boston – Shaun Soho (vocals), Bo (bass), Alex Donaldson (guitar) and Andrew Merkle (drums) – that likes their music raw, raunchy, wild and rough but with big hooks, catchy melodies and some great musicianship and just one look at the band, my mind wanders off to the late 80’s and bands such as Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe, but also Aerosmith comes to mind. They started out almost 10 years ago, back in 2006, but the guys have chosen to hurry slowly with making a record, instead of rushing things just to have a product out fast. So, by the look of the band members and even more, the CD-cover, is a hint of what to expect – melodic, sleaze with a punky attitude. That was my first guess. That guess wasn’t that far-fetched at all, quite the contrary, it turned out to be a pretty good guess. But to get a style is one thing and if that genre has hundreds of  really good bands, you must really put on something cool to stand out and deliver the goods. So the question is, of course, did they deliver the goods?

Well, opening track and first video “151” puts me in a time machine that takes me on a ride right back to 1989. Ever heard of Babylon A.D.? No? Well, that’s your loss then because they were a great band, especially their first record. That CD came out in 1989 and this song reminds me of that band. Do I need to say that it’s a killer? Well, it is – a real killer! With “Made For The Money”, I’m not going anywhere because it rocks like the late 80’s never went away with its sleazy, melodic hard rock and punky attitude. “Welcome To Boston” is a raunchy rocker that will bring down the house live. It’s also their tribute to their city and apparently the song has already become a local anthem in Boston’s sports arenas – how cool is that? “Outta Control” is, although a good song, so close to Guns N’ Roses and their “Paradise City” that parts of the song actually borders to rip-off. Which kinda makes it a bit funny when I hear traces of the same song in “Diamond Boulevard” albeit not even remotely as much. It also helps that the latter is bloody awesome and the time machine takes me a few years forward – hello 1991. You just gotta love that. I do love that! Bang Tango comes to mind in the magnificent “Take It”, without being a clone and “Goin’ Down The Drain” brings G N’R’s “My Michelle” to mind, but in a more Use Your Illusion vibe and it gets thumbs up from me. We get the mandatory power ballad with “Somewhere Yesterday” just like they made them in 1990, but unfortunately, this one sounds kinda forced and just don’t feel it. But it’s not really a bad song, just a bit strained. They close the album with a bang called “Nowhere To Go”, a kick-ass jawbreaker that sure mean business and it really makes you want to play the record all over again.

Now, it may sound like I think that this lot doesn’t have their own identity, but that’s not the case at all. Sure, they wear lots of their influences on their sleeves and sometimes the borrowing can go a little over board and yes, singer Soho might sound like Babylon A.D.’s Derek Davis, but I can still hear the Crash Midnight identity and I do hear shitloads of quality. It’s like this album builds momentum for its follow-up to come, because even though I can find the odd filler or two here, it sure shows loads and loads of potential. I also love that the production smells like 1991, but you can easily hear that this album was made more than 20 years later. So, nothing new under the sun, but who cares when the songs are really good and the album is a reason to throw a party. I believe in this. I think these guys can go really far. No, I’m positive that they will go really far. Do you love melodic, sleazy hard rock with an attitude. Do you think that 1989 – 1992 was some really awesome years for hard rock? Well, then this album is a must for you.

Jon Wilmenius (7/10)


01. 151
02. Made For The Money
03. Welcome To Boston
04. Outta Control
05. You’re The Only One
06. Diamond Boulevard
07. City Girl
08. Take It
09. Goin’ Down The Drain
10. Somewhere Yesterday
11. Long As It’s Free
12. Nowhere To Go


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