THE MIDNIGHT DEVILS
NEVER BEG FOR IT
Released on July 1, 2022 (Pavement Entertainment)
Despite their well received 2018 debut Something Big and being special tour guests for some of my favourite bands, Omaha / Chicago rockers The Midnight Devils have somehow just stayed out of my radar, so I was delighted when the opportunity to review their latest album dropped into my inbox.
“Sound of Domination” opens their second album in fine style. It’s a dirty, thumping, sweat stained rocker that sounds even better than the title may suggest, and is complete with rousing gang style chorus. The trashy but neatly poppy “Stay In Your Lane” follows, along with the growling, roadster-themed “Highway 69” before the double entendre filled joy of “Squeeze Me Dry” which to me had all the elements of Poison — if none of them ever showered and Bret Michaels had a touch of laryngitis.
The speed induced “Crank Down” and the sprawling “White Line Fever” passed me by without much incident or interest, despite yet more anthemic choruses and fine solo-ing from guitarist Chris “Sniper” Hineline. The extended “Glitter Connection” has a real Crash Kelly or The Biters (remember those two?) feel to it which is of course not a bad thing, and the strutting “Long Gone” is just begging for a crowd singalong at the end of a gig. The rather ordinary “The Trick” bleeds back into Poison / Tuff territory with the jaunty “Party In The Back” and the album closes with the glorious BulletBoys tinged “Working For The Weekend” which instantly became my favourite song amongst a slew of contenders for that title.
The production is crystal clear and the band members are tight in a sleazy, shambolic way. Jimmy Mess is as solid a drummer as you will hear and the aforementioned Sniper is practically faultless throughout. Sam “Spade” Morris’ bourbon soaked vocals enhance the proceedings immensely, though — at times and on certain tracks, it seems a little repetitive and lacking in variety. That being said, this is an extremely minor quibble.
Even if there are two or three tracks that will employ the skip button for me, this is still on the whole a fine, sleazy album with mainly memorable, chorus driven songs in the finest spirit of the genre. It’s absolutely perfect for that late night road trip return from seeing them live and with the window down!
01. Sound of Domination
02. Stay In Your Lane
03. Highway 69
04. Squeeze Me Dry
05. Crank Down
06. White Line Fever
07. Glitter Connection
08. Long Gone
09. The Trick
10. Party In The Back
11. Working For The Weekend
Sam “Spade” Morris – vocals, bass
Chris “Sniper” Hineline – guitar
Jimmy Mess – drums
Produced by Chip Z’Nuff
Mixed and mastered by Chris Steinmetz
Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, July 2022
The Midnight Devils‘ “Highway 69” single: