I've been an obsessed hard rock/heavy metal fan and collector since the early 1980s. If it's got a good guitar riff and attitude, I'm in.
The Midnight Devils—"Something Bigger"
Genre: Sleaze/Glam Rock
Tracks: 11 / Run Time: 49:57
The Midnight Devils are a self-proclaimed "glam slam rock 'n roll band" from Omaha, Nebraska, who describe their look and sound as a combination of "Alice Cooper and Motley Crue with the boogie-woogie of Elvis Presley." They were kind enough to send a copy of their 2018 debut album, Something Bigger, for my consideration, and after hearing these eleven high-energy tracks I'd say those comparisons are quite accurate.
The Devils were a new name to me, but the band has apparently been quite busy since the release of Something Bigger, appearing at such prestigious venues as LA's Viper Room and the annual Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, Oklahoma. Most recently, the Devils had been the opening act on U.K. sleaze legends The London Quireboys' Spring 2020 U.S. tour, until that damned Coronavirus put a sudden stop to everything fun.
To keep fans occupied while they plot their next move, The Midnight Devils recently unleashed a brand new music video for the single "Pink Halo."
It only took a few listens to Something Bigger to determine that good ole fashioned '80s style sleaze rock is indeed alive and well and it's comin' straight outta Omaha, of all places!
From the moment you press "play" on Something Bigger, there's an instant party goin' on. The album kicks off with "Pink Halo," a primo slice of raunchy power-pop that's equal parts Cheap Trick and vintage Van Halen. In fact, I think it's safe to say that Roth era VH is a pretty major influence on these guys, particularly in the flashy, fleet fingered guitar work of Chris "Sniper" Hineline and the bravado-filled vocal delivery of bassist/vocalist Sam Spade, who also forms a tight rhythm section with drummer Jimmy Mess.
"2 Miles Down" settles into a crunchy, metallic groove that shows these glam rockers can also bring the heavy, while the snotty punk throw-down "Bleed Betty Bleed" scores instant coolness points with me by dropping a lyrical reference to the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop."
"By My Side" is another Van Halen-esque cut which features a "WHOOOO!" from Spade that would do the mighty DLR proud. "Generation Durt" (sic) will get heads bangin' and the crowd singing along to the irresistible chant of "HEY HEY HEY, WE WON'T GO AWAY!"
"Absence of Light" is another crunchy metallic groove monster which leads into "Midnight Devils," the band's high-energy ode to themselves. (Hey, if Black Sabbath can have a song called "Black Sabbath," and Motorhead can have a song called "Motorhead," why not?)
On the we-will-conquer-the-world band-empowerment anthem "No More," the Devils boast that they're headed "straight to the top," while the bluesy "Baptized By The Radio" slows things down just enough to leave you unprepared for the all-out barn-burning assault of "Memphis Mile,' which is all screaming guitars and arena-rock swagger. The album closes with the thumping title track, another loud-n-proud anthem that will leave the listener wanting more.
Summing It Up
The Midnight Devils certainly make a heck of a racket, especially for a three piece. Fans of vintage Crue, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Poison and the like should eat this stuff up. Something Bigger is pro-level and shows a deep respect and love for the hard rock/glam/sleaze bands of the past. Are the Devils the most startlingly original thing to come down the pike? Of course not, but they're tons of fun and they fit right in with a lot of the current crop of sleaze rock bands I've been discovering over the past few years like Crashdiet (a recent personal fave of mine) and Crazy Lixx.
There's a common complaint among the old time '80s rocker crowd that "nobody plays it like (insert name of '80's glam/metal band here) anymore." My response to those folks would be, "You're obviously not looking in the right places!"
If you like what you've heard in the above YouTube samples, you can learn more about the Midnight Devils via their Facebook page or their official website, where you can support their cause by purchasing CDs, t-shirts, and other swag.
Hopefully the Powers That Be will lift restrictions on live musical performances sometime soon, so the Midnight Devils will be able to get back out on the road and continue bringin' the sleaze to the rock hungry masses. I have a feeling that these guys are even more fun in concert than they are on record!
© 2020 Keith Abt
Kiplangat Yegon from Nairobi on June 01, 2020: