Midnight Circus - Money Shot

First things first: the CD cover. Why guys? Why? Espying their illustration -- an objectionable objectified jizz-soaked harlot covering her baps with a fan of customised dollar bills (their faces replacing Lincoln's), coupled with the CD's title 'Money Shot' in a crappy font, also dripping in jizz -- one may imagine that, it has either been designed by hormonally-turbulent, pubescent boys, or that someone at their management's level is surely missing a trick, because a cover this trite and sexist hasn't existed since Smell The Glove (version 1), controversy for all the wrong reasons.

The counter-productiveness of the illustration is a shame, as it does a great disservice to the music lurking within; which, from a melodic rock perspective, is actually rather good, as it goes.

Once we're past the quirky intro, 'Psychedelic Trippin' kicks things off. Replete with pumping bass-line, a little reverse reverb on the vocals, a Sputnik-esque mess around with sampled vocals at the beginning, and punchy little harmonies, 'Psychedelic' is agreeable enough as an opener. A lot of the PR surrounding this release is claiming that the music (and vocals) are comparable to Vince Neil, Poison and Def Leppard; but I disagree with that, because I think vocalist, Rob Howl, has a cleaner, more youthful-sounding, and listenable voice than his peers. Alas, productionally speaking, as venerable as the musicianship is, the drums sound a little tin pot-ish.

Next up is 'Tonight'. Celebrity Skin, Joey C. Jones, and Big Bang Babies used to write songs like this: multi-harmonic vocals, tossaway lyrics, kaleidoscopically-flanged effects set to maximum - in other words, a Beatles inspired cock-rock mise en scène which was never truly appreciated (as Enuff Z'Nuff found out) until it was too late.

The next couple waft over the senses if only because, despite the delicately arranged harmonies, they're very homogenous: same key, same tempo, same daft lyrics, etc.

Track 8, Forever Came Today, is a little gem. Comprising, as it does, of all qualities we've (by this point) grown to love about Midnight Circus (tight knit harmonies, crunchy guitars, loveably-throwaway lyrics, flange-effected vocals), it's hard to dislike a single bar of it. It's far too 1989ish for radio, of course, but it's a club floor-filling stomper, nonetheless.

Three more tracks unfold, leaving us with the obscurant outro, 'S.M.D.' ('Suck My Dick'). Warrant have already done this, of course, ten years ago with 'Ode To Tipper Gore' - a purposefully anti-Establishment amalgamated chunk of samples and guitar to piss off... who knows who, really? Because, surely the effectiveness of such a nefarious dirty deed is proportional to the populist level of its protagonists? In other words, unless one has the consequential media pull of say, Britney Spears, who really cares? Bless 'em.

A neatly produced melodic rock CD, offering nothing new, but being expert at what it strives to deliver.

by Deviant D.

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