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May 25, 2009 | by  | in Arts Music | [ssba]

The Story of the Midnight Youth -or- Flogging a Dead Horse


At the risk of setting the tone of this review in the first line—fuck this band. The powers that be have pushed yet another black hole of creativity into the limelight, to the eagerly awaiting zombie hordes. Let’s be clear here: Midnight Youth are the last thing NZ music needs. Rigidly formulaic to the point of crippling depression, this Rockquest-born outfit (not a bad thing, but LOOK WHAT YOU SPAWNED HERE, ROCKQUEST) have released their debut album, The Brave don’t Run, to mixed reviews at best. And thank God for that. I mean YES, It sounds ‘epic’ and ‘grandiose’ and ‘reminiscent of U2/The Killers/Kings of Leon/whatever’, and that might please some people too. That’s ‘nice’.

But if there’s one point where I’m going to take a high-horse position in this publication, it’s here. Seriously. This is the kind of band that makes Motocade look like Animal Collective on the creative front (OH NO JAMES YOU JUST PIDGEONHOLED YOURSELF WITH AN AC REFERENCE, HOW SELF-INDULGENT). This is an album whose opening track contains the novel ‘put your money where your mouth is’, a precursor to lyrical gems like ‘do you think I’d change your world if I could?’, some bullshit about the Garden of Eden, and grass being greener. I reiterate: FUCK. THIS. BAND. The overdose of clichéd lyric might have been okay if they were pushing the envelope musically, but alas, no. This is a ‘solid rock record’, which essentially equates to ‘boring bros with faux-epic melodies we’ve heard five times already from other bands this week’. I’m listening to ‘The Letter’ now, he’s crying about a letter that ‘had some words and a picture’. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS??? By the time the backing harmonies come in (covering ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon, basically) it’s too late. These guys ooze ‘High School Talent Quest Winner 2005’ in the very worst way. The whimpering, ‘earnest’ intros and outros, the oversized choral hooks, the Snow Patrol-esque rhythms—it’s like this was made for the climax of a Grey’s Anatomy finale or something.

Those of you that read Stevie Kaye’s stellar review of The Veils’ Sun Gangs (OMG they have a song called The Letter too) in last month’s Real Groove may have read the point that nothing is worse than empty lyric, and that Finn Andrews’ furious angst signifying nothing was embarrassing. Consider Midnight Youth an even worse case of that. At least Andrews had the audacity to look outside his parents’ U2 records and new copy of Only by the Night for inspiration on the art of empty lyrics. ‘Good on ya bro’ I guess though, I mean singer Jeremy Redmore does have a really good voice. But in a day and age where talent is rife and doesn’t equate to originality, I really hoped we’d get something more interesting than this in the Salient mailbox.

Seriously. On one end we’ve got Pitchfork pushing the fuck out of ‘lo-fi noise-pop’ like it’s the apocalypse and tape-hiss is holy water, and then on this end we’ve got Midnight Youth playing SXSW and hitting #2 on the charts. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH EVERYBODY??? Fuck this, I’m done with the vitriol. Gonna go eat a mean burger. YEAHHHHH. XOXO GOSSIP GIRL


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Comments (12)

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  1. I’m confused James. I’ve never heard Midnight Youth and I believe your analysis of the album/their music as faux-epic ‘grandiose’.

    But could you please explain this:


  2. James Beavis says:

    Hahahaha that’s The Midnights yo. But if they did become the Midnight Youth, then I hate them even more for starting out as a fucking terrible ‘BBQ Band’

  3. Mr. Bear's Shadow says:

    oh. sweet. no wonder I was confused.

  4. Soup says:

    Well.. they are called Midnight Youth for a reason. They are targeting youth who wanders at midnight. LOL. But I like them. So what-ev James.

  5. hank scorpio says:

    getting angry over bands

  6. T Shirt says:

    Meh. Some band.

  7. hank scorpio says:

    how dare someone lob insults at my mildly successful up and coming underground camp a low hum band

  8. James Beavis says:


  9. rachel says:

    I’ll be honest, what a pathetic review. Why don’t you throw ‘fuck’ around a few more times to emphasise your point??
    Anyone that has seen this band live knows that this is one of the best kiwi music talents to come out in a long time.
    Why don’t you try supporting NZ music instead of getting caught up in your ‘tall poppy syndrome attitude’?
    pah won’t be coming to this site again, nice work

  10. James Beavis says:

    lol at the sweetman review, <3 <3 <3

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