Midnite City is a five-piece Melodic Hard Rock band that hails from Nottingham, UK. The band was formed in 2017 by lead singer Rob Wylde, once the singer and frontman for one of the versions of Tigertailz and also a contributing song writer for bands such as Vega and Steevi Jaimz (also once in Tigertailz). Wylde brought in members Miles Meakin (guitars), Josh Williams (bass), Pete Newdeck (drums) and Shawn Charvette (keyboards) and instantly began to work on their self-titled debut album that came out later the same year. The fact that the band holds the 80’s dear and cited bands such as Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Kiss made curious of how this lot might sound. To be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed by the debut album even though I didn’t loathe it. They lacked identity and the songs just weren’t there quality-wise. I never got down to review that record so I thought I’d give their new one a shot instead – now that they had been together for a while maybe things had improved.
Opener “Here Comes The Party” is an upbeat party-rocker, Melodic Hard Rock that mixes 80’s Bon Jovi with early 90’s American Stadium Rock with lots of “whoa whoa whoa” in the refrain. The lack of identity remains but at least the tune is catchy and stays put in your head no matter if you want it to or not. It’s a pretty neat tune even though I definitely have heard better. It does its job as an opener, though. Leading single “Give Me Love” is an uptempo, AOR-laden late 80’s pop-rocker with a huge, catchy refrain that’s highly addictive. Why this tune was chosen as the first single is a no-brainer – good tune. Already by song # 3, the first power ballad shows up, the latest single “You Don’t Understand Me”. It’s an upbeat ballad, straight out of 1987 where Bon Jovi and Def Leppard meets with a twist of melancholy thrown in. If you’re a sucker for a power ballad then this is for you. It also reminds me of Climie Fischer’s “Love Changes Everything”. Good one.
“Life Ain’t Like This On The Radio” is an uptempo and driving mix of AOR and Melodic Rock and it’s a time machine back to 1989, very American sounding and Blue Tears comes to mind here. The tune comes with a catchy-as-hell refrain that you’ll either love or hate. I think it’s great! “We’re Gonna Make It” is very Pop-laden and would have fitted American Rock radio back in 1986 perfectly. This is pretty chunky AOR with the guitars up-front but it’s still very sweet and slick. Pretty good without being too impressive. “Tonight You’re All I Need” is a mid-paced stadium rocker that holds a good groove. It’s an ok tune but the chorus could have been stronger and less saccharine. Despite the broken-heart lyrics, “Hard To Get Over” is an upbeat pop-rocker with a big party-rock feel. It’s poppy, direct, catchy and very 80’s radio-friendly with shitloads of hooks. The tune sticks right away and should be a single at some point – very good.
The mid-paced “Takes One To Know One” is a bit heavier and edgier with a darker twist and a Hard Rock arrangement. It’s a pretty good tune and it breaks the mould some but even though the refrain is quite catchy, it’s also quite ordinary and standard. The heavier and tougher sound is a plus, though. With “Heaven’s Falling” it’s power ballad time again and it’s a stereotype early 90’s power ballad, no more no less – nothing special at all and it falls into the file for forgettable tunes. Next! Unfortunately, “Gave Up Giving Up” ends up in the same file. This straight-forward Melodic Rock track is pretty standard with nothing that makes it stick and nothing really happens at all. When the tune is over I remember nada. Closing track “Until The End” is an uptempo pop-rocker that throws a nod towards Scandinavian AOR. Pink n’ fluffy and sugary enough to cure any sweet tooth, it’s a bit overmuch on that side but it still holds a very catchy refrain, very 1988. A good closer.
While I think that this album is a step up from the debut, it still doesn’t go all the way. The identity issue is still very much present and quality wise, the album holds a few fillers too many for comfort. It’s clear that this lot is passionate about their mix of AOR and Stadium Rock and when it comes to 80’s Hard Rock, they sure have done their homework and as musicians, they’re faultless but it’s just that I miss that little extra punch that takes the album from good to great. This is an album for the Saturday night party for those who have gotten sick of hearing “Livin’ On A Prayer”, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Paradise City” over and over again and want something new in the same vein. To me, this is an ok album that I doubt I’ll be playing much in the future. But the potential is there for future releases.
1. Here Comes The Party
2. Give Me Love
3. You Don’t Understand Me
4. Life Ain’t Like This On The Radio
5. We’re Gonna Make It
6. Tonight You’re All I Need
7. Hard To Get Over
8. Takes One To Know One
9. Heaven’s Falling
10. Gave Up Giving Up
11. Until The End